Fair Work Commission ruling puts gig economy under the spotlight

A ruling by the Fair Work Commission in favour of a former Foodora delivery driver who claimed unfair dismissal is set to rock the gig economy with the conclusion that the rider was an employee, not an independent contractor.

In a decision on Friday, Fair Work Commissioner Ian Cambridge found that Josh Klooger had been an employee of Foodora. He found Klooger’s dismissal by the food delivery service via an email came without any warning and was plainly unjust. The Commissioner described the dismissal as “manifestly unreasonable, and unnecessarily harsh”.

Cambridge suggested the control Foodora exerted over Klooger – including enforcing start and finish times and insisting on the wearing of a uniform – contributed to the relationship being one between an employee and employer rather than a contracter.

Experts are now saying the ruling will put the business models of similar services, Deliveroo and Uner Eats, under scrutiny and sets a precedent for the one million plus people currently working in the gig economy to be considered employees.

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Cec is the managing editor of KBB. She is a multimedia professional with over fifteen years experience as an editor on titles as diverse as SX, CULT, Better Pictures, Total Rock, MTV, fasterlouder, mynikonlife and Fantastic Living. She has spent the past four years working as a news journalist covering all the issues that matter in the political, health and LGBTIQ arena. She is the Head of Content at Pinstripe Media and a recent convert to the world of small business.

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