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Menulog moves employ couriers in an industry first aimed at ending ‘deadly recipe’

3AW Breakfast
Article image for Menulog moves employ couriers in an industry first aimed at ending ‘deadly recipe’

One of Australia’s largest food delivery platforms will give many delivery drivers rights to a minimum wage and superannuation contributions, in an Australian industry first.

Menulog is moving away from the gig economy model, which classifies couriers as independent contractors, and beginning a pilot program for couriers in Sydney’s CBD.

The move comes after five couriers working for delivery platforms were killed in 11 weeks in Australia late last year.

National Secretary of the Transport Workers Union, Michael Kaine, says the “tide is starting to turn”, and Menulog’s move will help put a stop to a “deadly recipe”.

“This is an important move, I think, by Menulog, which really recognises that the time has come to bring this type of work into the modern economy in a way that’s going to support workers and families, and support a good sustainable business,” he told Stephen Quartermain and Emily Power, filling in for Ross and Russel.

“Up until this point food delivery companies have quite deliberately misclassified their workers, so they’ve pushed them outside of the normal protections that employees in the rest of our economy get.

“They don’t have any workers compensation, so if they’re injured there’s no capacity for them to have support.”

Mr Kaine says the pressure of needing to accept a delivery on an app within seconds, or risk being kicked off the platform, along with being paid less than half the minimum wage on average, and navigating city traffic, is a “deadly recipe” for drivers.

Several other countries have already introduced restrictions to crackdown on unfair treatment of gig economy workers.

“We think we can get the balance right and Menulog has put its hand up here to say that’s what they think should happen, as have many countries now around the world — UK, Spain, Italy, Holland, California, even have taken important steps here — I think it’s time for Australia to catch up,” Mr Kaine said.

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