Deadline extended for submissions into gig economy inquiry

Victorian Government extends deadline of first state-based inquiry into gig economy.

The Victorian Government has extended the deadline for submissions into the on-demand workforce inquiry until 20 February 2019.

The inquiry, chaired by former Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James, is investigating the extent of the on-demand sector, also known as the ‘gig economy’, and the status of people working with or for online companies or platforms in Victoria.

The investigation follows widespread concern about the wages and conditions being offered to workers in the on-demand and gig economy. It is the first state-based inquiry to focus on the gig economy and will build on both existing and new information to compile the most comprehensive body of evidence on the operation of the gig economy.

A key focus of the inquiry is to explore the arrangements covering workers in the on-demand workforce, looking at the legal status of people working with or for online companies or platforms in Victoria and reviewing the application and effective enforcement of workplace laws.

Organisations with an interest in the gig economy, including Sidekicker, Deliveroo,Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Industry Group, the ACTU, the Transport Workers Union and Victorian Trades Hall Council, have indicated their interest in providing submissions.

The inquiry will also gather information about the impact on businesses operating outside of the on-demand economy, addressing concerns about the lack of a level playing field for businesses.

The on-demand sector is made up of a range of workers, consumers and platforms across different industries including commercial cleaning.

Last year the now defunct food delivery service Foodora was found by the ATO to have wrongly labelled its workers as independent contractors.

Domestic and commercial cleaning services such as office cleaning and end of lease cleaning, as well as maintenance services are offered by some on-demand platforms in Australia.

“The input that we receive through the submissions process is critical to helping to shape our understanding of this diverse and evolving sector,” James said.

Submissions are now open until 20 February 2019, with the inquiry expected to deliver a final report to the government later in the year.

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