FWC considering gig work modern award proposal

The Fair Work Commission is considering an application to make a new modern award covering platform workers in the on-demand delivery services industry.

Menulog applied for the award last month, saying it would: promote social inclusion and flexible work practices; positively impact business by recognising the industry’s unique features; and improve employment and inflation growth.

Menulog asked the Commission to release a statement that making such an award was not “prima facie contrary to the modern awards objective”, but the full bench said this would be “somewhat premature” on the limited material submitted.

The bench said it needed to consider three questions regarding the application:

  1. whether employers and employees in the industry were currently covered by a modern award;
  2. if there was current award coverage, whether this met the modern awards objective; and
  3. if it didn’t, whether the FWC should vary an existing award instead of creating a new one.

The bench expressed a provisional view that the Miscellaneous Award might cover the workers, but if that were the case, “then it does not provide a fair and relevant safety net for that industry”.

The bench said Menulog would need to expand on its submission that “the peculiarities of the On Demand Industry warrant discrete industrial regulation”, and it invited interested parties to respond to its provisional views by 9 August 2021.

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