TWU calls for urgent reform as Commission slams Deliveroo unfair sacking but upholds appeal

Transport Workers' Union

The TWU has called for urgent reform as a Fair Work Commission decision agrees Deliveroo rider Diego Franco was unfairly terminated but could not find he was an employee following the High Court Personnel Contracting ruling.

Vice President Hatcher found that the Commissioner’s ruling of unfair sacking was correct at the time of the decision: “The Commissioner’s finding of a lack of a valid reason, coupled with an undeniable failure to afford Mr Franco procedural fairness, rendered inevitable the Commissioner’s conclusion that the dismissal was harsh, unjust and unreasonable.”

Deliveroo’s appeal was upheld on the basis that the decision must now be reviewed in light of a High Court ruling earlier this year which stated the terms of a contract must be used to determine employment status, rather than the nature of the work.

The decision states that in relation to the degree of control over Mr Franco’s performance of the work and other related factors, “as a result of Personnel Contracting, we must close our eyes to these matters.”

The TWU is calling for urgent reform to ensure all transport workers have rights with safe standards enforced to address the deadly pressures in the industry. Since the LNP Government tore down a road safety watchdog in 2016, 272 transport workers have been killed, 11 of them food delivery riders.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said the Federal Government must urgently introduce reform to address the archaic system which provides rights like unfair dismissal only to workers deemed employees.

“Diego Franco and his family have been through more than two years of stress and turmoil. Diego was unfairly terminated with no warning, a finding agreed upon twice by the Fair Work Commission. Despite this appalling act by Deliveroo, Diego and his family have had justice ripped away from them for no reason other than an outdated legal system which fails to represent the present day working world.

“This finding allows gig behemoths to carefully adjust the wording in their contracts to avoid all accountability towards worker safety and rights, while exercising high control over workers who have no ability to negotiate. We cannot close our eyes to the reality of this industry which is killing, maiming and unfairly sacking workers.”

“Every transport worker in Australia needs rights and protections without exception. Gig companies like Uber and DoorDash have joined calls for an independent body to set minimum standards to level the playing field across the industry. This decision shows just how high a priority it is for the Federal Government to establish a lifesaving standard-setting body in transport.”

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