Conditions and pay information for gig workers

Find out more about your legal rights, entitlements and obligations as a gig worker.

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Pay and entitlements

What are the Voluntary Fair Conduct and Accountability Standards?

The Victorian Government has developed the Voluntary Fair Conduct and Accountability Standards (the Standards) to improve the position of non-employee gig workers.

These Standards specify practices that are to be applied across all industries and sectors in which platforms operate. Platforms are encouraged to implement the Standards.

There are six Standards focusing on:

  • consultation about work status and arrangements
  • consideration of parties’ leverage or bargaining power
  • fair conditions and pay, including gender pay equity
  • fair and transparent independent dispute resolution
  • worker representation, including the ability to seek better work arrangements, and
  • safety.

How do I know if I’m being paid correctly?

The amount of pay you must receive depends on whether you’re an employee or non-employee gig worker.

If you’re an employee, you have a right to legal minimum entitlements. These entitlements include those set out in the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act 2009, and minimum pay rates for the type of work you perform. There is a minimum wage safety net for employees, and minimum wages for industries and occupations contained in modern awards. For more information visit the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The Fair Work rules about pay and entitlements generally don’t apply if you’re a non-employee gig worker. If you’re a non-employee gig worker, your pay will depend on what you’ve agreed with your platform. Your contract with your platform might cover what you’ll be paid. If your contract doesn’t have this information, you can ask your platform how they calculate your pay.

Platforms in taking a best practice approach to what they do, would provide non-employee gig workers with fair and decent pay and conditions, in accordance with Standard 3 of the Voluntary Fair Conduct and Accountability Standards (the Standards). Platforms are expected to provide information about:

  • how earnings are calculated
  • what you can expect to earn when you complete a job
  • your conditions of work
  • factors that affect how work is allocated, and
  • how penalties are calculated and applied.

The Standards seek to encourage platforms to further improve their practices to ensure work arrangements are fair and transparent. Read more information on the Standards.

How can I recover pay that my platform owes me?

As a first step, you should raise the issue with your platform. There are other options available if you’re not satisfied with your platform’s response.

If you’re an employee and you’re still concerned that you’ve been underpaid by your platform:

  • An option you have is to contact the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO). The FWO’s role includes enforcing compliance with Australia’s workplace laws.

If you’re a non-employee gig worker and are still concerned that you’ve been underpaid by your platform:

The VSBC can deal with disputes between non-employee gig workers and platforms, including by 'mediation'. Mediation is where both parties get together with an independent person (a mediator) to discuss the issues and try to reach an agreement. For gig workers who are owner drivers, the VSBC can make a binding decision to resolve a dispute (this is known as 'arbitrating' the dispute). You can contact the Gig Worker Support Service for help with taking your dispute to the VSBC.

Visit VSBC to find out more about VSBC’s dispute resolution process. You may also consider obtaining your own legal advice about other options to recover monies owed to you.

For the purposes of Victoria’s owner driver laws, an owner driver is an independent contractor who runs a business transporting goods (not passengers) using up to three vehicles supplied by the owner of the business. The term ‘vehicle’ includes bicycles.

The owner of the business must also operate at least one of the vehicles. If you’re a non-employee gig worker using your own vehicle to deliver goods (such as food), you’re an owner driver.

Can gig workers negotiate pay and conditions as a group with their platform?

‘Collective bargaining’ is where workers negotiate pay and conditions as a group with the business they work for.

If you’re an employee, there are laws in the Fair Work Act 2009 that generally allow for collective bargaining with your platform. For employees, collective bargaining is called ‘enterprise bargaining’. Employees, generally, are also able to take industrial action (known as ‘protected action’) during enterprise bargaining with their employer. There are rules governing enterprise bargaining and industrial action under the Fair Work Act 2009. Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman for more information.

Most non-employee gig workers are legally permitted to collectively bargain with their platform as a group, provided the group meets certain requirements. These requirements are:

  • submitting a collective bargaining notice to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), when the bargaining group is formed
  • giving the platform a copy of the collective bargaining notice.

Non-employee gig workers’ rights are more limited in relation to collective bargaining, than employees' rights. Platforms aren’t required to agree to bargain collectively with a non-employee gig worker group. If a platform does agree to bargain collectively with the non-employee gig worker group, it’s still illegal for the group to take any industrial action against the platform.

For more information visit the ACCC’s website.

Standard 5 of the Voluntary Fair Conduct and Accountability Standards (the Standards), encourages platforms to engage with non-employee gig workers and their representatives in good faith and collectively, where permitted by law. The Standards seek to encourage platforms to further improve their practices to ensure work arrangements are fair and transparent. Read more information on the Standards.

What are my platform’s responsibilities to make sure gig workers are being paid fairly, regardless of their gender?

Standard 3 of the Voluntary Fair Conduct and Accountability Standards (the Standards) outlines the ways that platforms can enable female workers to earn the same as male workers. The Standards seek to encourage platforms to further improve their practices to ensure work arrangements are fair and transparent. Read more information on the Standards.

Can gig workers join unions?

Employees and non-employee gig workers are free to (or not to) join a union. Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman for more information.

Sick Pay Guarantee

What can I do if I miss work because I am sick, or caring for a member of my family/household?

Most gig workers don’t get paid sick leave by their platforms. However, under the Sick Pay Guarantee, some gig workers, who don’t have access to paid leave in any job, are eligible to receive sick or carer’s pay from the Victorian Government. Check whether you’re eligible.

Eligible workers can access up to 38 hours of sick or carer’s pay per year under the scheme, paid at $23.23 per hour. Workers must sign up for the guarantee before claiming sick or carer’s pay. You can’t claim sick pay for absences before the date you signed up for the Sick Pay Guarantee.

Find more information about the Sick Pay Guarantee.

Am I eligible to sign up for the Sick Pay Guarantee?

Employees and independent contractors can sign up for the Sick Pay Guarantee, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements listed below. However, independent contractors are only covered if they don’t employ anyone else to work for them. Find more information for independent contractors.

You must sign up to the Sick Pay Guarantee before you can access sick or carer’s pay. You are eligible to sign up if:

  • you have the right to work in Australia
  • you're 15 or older
  • you go to work in Victoria
  • you're working an average of 7.6 hours or more each week in at least one eligible job
  • you don’t have access to paid leave entitlements (including at any other jobs you work).

Eligible jobs include rideshare drivers, delivery riders and certain care workers. If you can’t find your exact job title, you may select a similar job title, as long as it still applies to the kind of work you do. For example, a rideshare driver might select ‘taxi driver’ or ‘chauffer’, or a food delivery rider might select ‘fast food delivery driver’ or ‘grocery deliverer.’

You need to provide certain information and documents to Service Victoria when you sign up. Find more information about what is required.

When can I claim sick or carer’s pay through the Sick Pay Guarantee?

To be eligible to claim sick or carer’s pay, you must:

  • miss work because you’re ill or injured, or because you’re caring for a loved one or household member.
  • not earn any other money in the period you’re claiming sick or carer’s pay for (for example, from another job)
  • submit a claim through your Service Victoria account within 60 days of your absence.

You must claim a minimum of three hours’ pay per day, and you may claim up to 12 hours for a single day. For some claims, you might be asked to provide a roster to prove that you missed work. If you don’t have a roster, you can provide other kinds of evidence instead. Find more information about what evidence may be required.

Superannuation

Am I entitled to superannuation?

Superannuation (often called super) is money set aside during your working life for when you retire.

If you’re an employee, your platform is generally required to pay minimum amount into your superannuation account. For more information visit the Australian Taxation Office.

There is an expanded meaning of ‘employee’ in the superannuation law. Independent contractors (in their capacity as individuals) who work under a contract that is wholly or principally for their labour are considered to be ‘employees’ and entitled to superannuation payments. Platforms usually aren’t required to make superannuation contributions for non-employee gig workers unless the worker meets the expanded definition of ‘employee’ in the superannuation law. To find out more visit the Australian Taxation Office.

How do I know if my platform is making the correct superannuation contributions for me?

For employees (including any non-employee gig workers who are treated as employees under superannuation laws) your platform is generally required to pay a minimum amount into your superannuation account. The minimum amount payable is the superannuation guarantee (SG) rate of your ordinary time earnings (OTE). The current SG rate is 11 per cent of your OTE. For more information on superannuation, and how to check your superannuation balance, visit Australian Taxation Office.

What can I do if I’m not receiving the correct superannuation contributions?

If you think your platform is not paying you the correct amount of superannuation, you can make a complaint to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The ATO is responsible for investigating and recovering unpaid superannuation.

Tax

What are my tax obligations?

If you’re an employee:

  • your platform will generally withhold money from your wages to pay to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on your behalf.

If you’re a non-employee gig worker:

  • you must manage your own tax obligations, including calculating how much tax you owe and paying that tax. This may include income tax and goods and service tax (GST). The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has information to help you understand your tax obligations.

For more information about tax obligations, visit the ATO’s website.

Rideshare

Rideshare and GST

All rideshare drivers (that is gig workers transporting people as opposed to transporting goods) must:

  • register for GST, regardless of their annual GST turnover
  • lodge a business activity statement (BAS), either monthly or every three months.

For more information on tax obligations for rideshare drivers, visit the Australian Taxation Office.

I’m a rideshare driver. What is an assistance animal and what are my obligations to passengers wanting to travel with their assistance animal?

An assistance animal is an animal which is accredited or trained to help a person with their disability. While guide dogs are a common assistance animal, there are many other types, and they help with a broad range of disabilities.

It’s against the law to discriminate against a passenger with a disability. Discrimination includes refusing ridesharing services to a passenger because they’re travelling with their assistance animal.

Refusal could also result in a fine and/or loss of access to the platform’s driver app.

For more information on helping passengers with an assistance animal, visit Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria.

What are my rights as a rideshare driver in relation to passengers wanting to travel with an animal?

If you’re concerned that a passenger’s animal is not an assistance animal, you may ask them for evidence to confirm the animal:

  • is an assistance animal, and
  • is trained to meet appropriate hygiene and behaviour standards for public places.

Once the passenger produces the requested evidence, you must allow them, and their assistance animal, into your vehicle.

How can I become an accredited rideshare driver or find out more about the accreditation process?

You can apply for driver accreditation from the Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV). CPVV is a Victorian Government body which provides advice about the rights and obligations of rideshare drivers. Visit CPVV for more information.

Migrant workers and visa conditions

Does my visa allow me to work for a platform?

Your visa conditions should set out your working rights. You should check your visa conditions before accepting work from a platform. If you’re unsure whether your visa lets you work for a platform, you can contact the Department of Home Affairs.

My platform plans to stop operating in Victoria, where can I get help?

Employees generally have legal rights to be consulted about major changes to their work. For more information visit the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Non-employee gig workers generally don’t have legal rights to consultation about changes, unless the contract with the platform provides for this right. However, under Standard 1 of the Voluntary Fair Conduct and Accountability Standards (the Standards), platforms in taking a best practice approach to what they do, would consult and negotiate with non-employee gig workers and their representatives on work-related matters, including major changes at work. The Standards seek to encourage platforms to further improve their practices to ensure work arrangements are fair and transparent. Read more information on the Standards.

If you want some support to find new secure work, you can contact Jobs Victoria.

Owner drivers

I’m an owner driver. What are my rights and entitlements under Victoria’s owner driver laws?

For the purposes of Victoria’s owner driver laws, an owner driver is an independent contractor who runs a business transporting goods (not passengers) using up to three vehicles supplied by the owner of the business. The term ‘vehicle’ includes bicycles. The owner of the business must also operate at least one of the vehicles. If you’re a non-employee gig worker using your own vehicle to deliver goods (such as food) you’re an owner driver.

In certain circumstances, there are legal requirements for platforms to provide owner drivers with certain materials. These materials may include:

  • the owner driver information booklet
  • owner driver rates and cost schedules
  • a written contract, including:
    • guaranteed minimum hours of work or income level
    • rates to be paid
    • minimum notice to end the contract or payment to be made instead of notice.

These legal requirements are contained in the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005.

Owner drivers also have protections in relation to:

  • raising health and safety issues
  • claiming their rights under the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005 or the Code of Practice
  • seeking to negotiate a proposed engagement or contract or to renegotiate an existing engagement or contract.

Find more information on the rights and entitlements that may apply to you as an owner driver.

I’m an owner driver. Where can I get help if I have a dispute with my platform about my rights and entitlements under Victoria’s owner driver laws?

You can contact the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) for help.

The VSBC provides dispute resolution services under Victoria’s owner drivers laws, (Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005).

The VSBC can deal with disputes between non-employee gig workers and platforms, including by 'mediation'. Mediation is where both parties get together with an independent person (a mediator) to discuss the issues and try to reach an agreement. For gig workers who are owner drivers, the VSBC may also be able to make a binding decision to resolve a dispute (this is known as 'arbitrating' the dispute where all parties agree to participate in arbitration). You can contact the Gig Worker Support Service for help with taking your dispute to the VSBC. Visit the VSBC to find out more about VSBC’s dispute resolution process.

The Wage Inspectorate Victoria (WIV) can also investigate if your platform does not provide you with the required information. The WIV is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005.

Find out more at www.vic.gov.au/transport-and-forestry-business-support.

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