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Conditions and pay information for gig workers

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

Pay and entitlements

What are the Voluntary Fair Conduct and Accountability Standards?

The Victorian Government has developed the Voluntary Fair Conduct and Accountability StandardsExternal Link (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 workerExternal Link .

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 OmbudsmanExternal Link .

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 StandardsExternal Link .

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:

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 VSBCExternal Link 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 OmbudsmanExternal Link 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 websiteExternal Link .

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 StandardsExternal Link .

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 StandardsExternal Link .

Can gig workers join unions?

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

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 OfficeExternal Link .

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 OfficeExternal Link .

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 10.5 per cent of your OTE. For more information on superannuation, and how to check your superannuation balance, visit Australian Taxation OfficeExternal Link .

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 OfficeExternal Link (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 OfficeExternal Link (ATO) has information to help you understand your tax obligations.

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

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 OfficeExternal Link .

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 informationExternal Link .

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 AffairsExternal Link .

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 OmbudsmanExternal Link .

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 StandardsExternal Link .

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

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 driverExternal Link .

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 VSBCExternal Link 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-supportExternal Link .

Reviewed 17 May 2023

Industrial Relations Victoria

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