More than half (52 per cent) of food delivery and ride share workers said they were not provided with safety training or thorough safety advice before they started working with gig economy platforms.
Fourteen per cent of workers said they received no safety training and 38 per cent said they were not provided with thorough safety advice before starting the job.
The Slater and Gordon research, conducted by Kantar Australia, featuring responses from 250 ride share and food delivery workers around Australia, also revealed the following:
- 21 per cent of ride share drivers said they did not receive any sort of training or advice before starting the work. And 43 per cent said they received advice but nothing thorough.
- 10 per cent of food delivery riders said they did not receive any sort of training or advice before starting the work. And 36 per cent said they received advice but nothing thorough.
Slater and Gordon Principal Lawyer Kavita Maharaj said the overall lack of training and support provided by these global companies to their workers was concerning.
“Handing over a road safety guidebook to new employees, as we know one UK based company had been doing in Australia, instead of providing sufficient training for workers, does not amount to providing specialist training to people riding bicycles, motorbikes or vehicles around large cities all day,” Ms Maharaj said.
“For workers who have not been in Australia long and may not be familiar with the road rules, this is not good enough. Many of these companies who provide services through apps do not pay workers’ compensation insurance premiums to the state government so their employees may not covered by workers’ compensation in the event of an accident causing them injuries.”
Ms Maharaj said many of the major apps had dodged their responsibilities for too long.
“These workers should be provided with interactive and meaningful training to help keep them safe on the roads before they are able to begin work. The employers must take responsibility for their workers’ safety just like every other business is expected to,” Ms Maharaj said.
“These workers should be considered employees in Australia so they are provided with access to the same rights and entitlements as other workers and employees.”
The Victorian Government has signalled it will move to re-classify food delivery riders and other gig economy workers from independent contractors to employees, and to work with the Federal Government on the issue.
Sadly, five food delivery workers died on NSW and Victorian roads last year. The NSW Government formed a taskforce to review the safety issues. Companies which include Deliveroo, Menulog and Uber Eats, will have to provide compulsory induction training to their riders as part of the new laws, which are set to be introduced later this year. The NSW Government is consulting on forming new arrangements to either expand the existing workers’ compensation scheme by deeming delivery riders as workers or requiring gig platforms to provide personal injury cover for riders.
Federal Labor announced plans to regulate the gig economy by establishing an independent body to set minimum pay and conditions if elected.