The world of work is changing, with new forms of digitally enabled, gig-based work emerging. Known as the gig-economy, this form of work is eroding labour standards and turning traditional jobs into short term tasks with no employment protections.
In 2016 Unions NSW produced a report Innovation or Exploitation – Busting the Airtasker Myth . The report is a case study into the employment practices of Airtasker – the Australian leader in task-based work.
Following the release of the report. Unions NSW and Airtasker began discussions to improve minimum standards on the Airtasker website. In March 2017 Unions NSW and Airtasker came to an agreement that:
- All recommended rates of pay on Airtasker are above comparative award rates;
- Workers using Airtasker will be offered an affordable and flexible insurance product similar to workers compensation to protect against workplace injury and illness;
- Both Airtasker and Unions NSW will work with the Fair Work Commission to develop an appropriate dispute resolution mechanism;
- Airtasker will continue to work with Unions NSW to ensure best practice workplace health and safety standards are in place to protect workers and consumers using the platform
Prior to the Unions NSW Airtasker campaign there was no reference to minimum rates of pay, insurance cover or appropriate licensing for work performed through the site.
Since the heads of agreement was finalised, minimum rates of pay are now published on the site so that both job poster and workers are aware of the legal minima.
Airtasker now also offers injury insurance and is currently working with Unions NSW to develop safety resources for workers and users.
Unions NSW will keep pushing Airtasker and other gig economy platforms to reform their practices to ensure all workers have access to fair rates or pay and safe workplaces. We wish to see better pay and workplace standards across the gig economy.