As recently as last year, the gig economy’s “independent contractor” business model seemed like an unstoppable force. It started with Uber, but soon spread to food delivery and before long was entering new sectors, such as freight, logistics and healthcare.
Food delivery giant Foodora is leaving Australia owing $28.3 million in debts to workers and small business, plus more in unpaid taxes.
This huge debt is small change for Foodora’s parent company, Delivery Hero, which is worth $14.7 billion. Based in Germany, Delivery Hero trades in 40 countries and is attempting to further expand its global reach.
Delivery rider Josh Klooger told the Fair Work Commission on July 3 that he deserves rights and protections, after Foodora sacked him earlier this year when he challenged their low rates and poor conditions.
The hearing is the first involving an unfair dismissal of a worker in the gig economy.
Ahead of the hearing, Klooger said: “Riders deserve fair rates, superannuation and protections when they are sick and injured on the job.
"We deserve the right to be able to challenge unfair sackings and speak out about the way we are treated.