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Time will tell if this is the end of Uber in Australia

According to the written by Jackson Stiles back in 7:51pm, Jun 30 2017, an Australian investigation into the employment practices of Uber could force it to leave the country, allowing a local competitor to fill the gap.

Julian Teicher, a labour market expert at Central Queensland University, said there was a “good chance” that Uber would lose any test case, forcing it to pay its drivers as casuals rather than contractors.

This could prompt the company to leave Australia altogether, he said.

“It may come down to who can throw the most money at the thing if it goes to a test case, but based on previous case law there’s a fair chance that Uber drivers will be classified as employees,” he told The New Daily.

“The real challenge for Uber will be what it does next. Does it cease operating in Australia or does it recruit a workforce? I think they would cease operating and leave it to other business models like GoCatch.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman confirmed earlier this week that it was investigating whether Uber was complying with the law by classifying its drivers as contractors. If found to be doing so illegally, this would be a case of “sham contracting”.

A newly-formed driver’s union – RideShare Drivers United – has claimed credit for prompting the investigation, saying they met with the Ombudsman earlier this month.

If found to be casuals, Uber would be forced to pay its drivers the minimum wage and, if they earned more than $450 a month from the company, the 9.5 per cent superannuation guarantee.

GoCatch CEO and co-founder Andrew Campbell said Uber should be investigated and it would be “good riddance” if the US-based company was forced out of the country.

“We’ve got an anti-competitive, monopolistic company from overseas that treats our regulators with contempt, gouges and surge prices consumers, and treats drivers with a complete lack of respect,” he told The New Daily.

“The sole income of many Uber drivers is from doing that work, so they deserve conditions and benefits that they are entitled to by law.”

Time will tell.


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