Online platforms such as AirTasker and Uber are the focus of a new Victorian Government inquiry into the application and enforcement of OHS, workers’ compensation and other workplace laws.
The news follows a Federal Senate inquiry, which reported that workplace laws haven’t kept up with advances in technology, meaning jobs within the gig economy have been able to avoid OHS obligations. While the gig economy has created new jobs and opportunities for business growth, there are strong parallels between gig work and fraudulent contracting positions.
Natalie Hutchins, Victoria’s Industrial Relations Minister offered that workers in this new economic market are often categorised as independent contractors but are subjected to poor wages and conditions.
Former Commonwealth Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James will chair the Victorian “Inquiry into the On-Demand Workforce”, which will examine whether gig-economy contracting arrangements are being used to avoid workplace laws and other statutory duties in Victoria; and will investigate the regulation of on-demand workers interstate and internationally. The inquiry, due to report in late 2019, will also look at Australia’s obligations under international law.