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.