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Uber in Australia under investigation into employment practises

Can Uber afford to treat its Australian rideshare drivers as employees?

According to the NewsDaily article “this could be the end of Uber in Australia“, highlights the fact that an Australian investigation into the employment practices of Uber could force it to leave the country based on comments made by 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.

uber enquiryThe 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”.

RideShare Drivers United – A newly-formed driver’s union 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.

“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.”

 

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