Business

Victoria moves to protect rights of food delivery riders

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Exclusive: The Victorian government will look to close a legislative loophole and give delivery riders the same protections as owner-operator truck drivers.

Drivers and bike riders working for food delivery apps will have the same protections as owner-operator truck drivers, under new regulations to be introduced by the Victorian state government. 

Victorian Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins will on Tuesday announce the changes to the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act to include delivery drivers and riders from the booming online platforms.

The services include Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Foodora as well as others. 

“These reforms respond to changes within the industry and the emergence of online delivery platforms, to ensure the laws that govern these businesses continue are effective and drivers are protected,” Ms Hutchins said.

Investigations by SBS News last year found some food delivery riders had minimal training and little understanding of road rules. 

The Victorian government says money from the 2018/2019 state budget will go towards “resourcing for education, enforcement and compliance”.

Riders from online delivery platforms in Australia have previously alleged underpayment after being employed as individual contractors not entitled to minimum wages.

The Victorian government changes will ensure businesses pay owner drivers within 30 days and give riders access to dispute resolution processes such as the Victorian Small Business Commission and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which they are currently not able to access.

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