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Uber calculates potential impact of Australia’s ‘Closing Loopholes’ bill

Uber calculates potential impact of Australia’s ‘Closing Loopholes’ bill
Uber calculates potential impact of Australia’s ‘Closing Loopholes’ bill

Uber is warning that drivers could risk their jobs, and prices could see a rapid spike of up to 40%. The Financial Times reports that Uber could be forced to consolidate hours across fewer workers to manage employment costs. Drivers and couriers might have to apply for an open role, show up for shifts, and be forced to accept every trip they receive. This could impact drivers who use multiple apps to maximize their income.

ALSO READ: Australia’s workers’ bill introduced in parliament, labeled most radical

Last month, the Australian government introduced the Fair Work Legislation Amendment Bill, also known as Closing Loopholes Bill, in parliament, which is now up for debate. The bill will impact thousands of workers on digital platforms, including food delivery and e-hailing services. 

Contract workers could be paid the same total rate as direct workforce employees. This could include bonuses and overtime.  

The government, however, maintains this is to protect workers who are deliberately underpaid. Businesses guilty of this could be fined up to $7.8 million or jailed. 

Customers will feel the impact

Uber is warning that if this bill is adopted and implemented, it could see a significant price hike of up to 40% in consumers’ pay in major cities. The Financial Times is reporting according to the European Commission’s estimates, customers could even have to wait more extended periods for a ride with fewer drivers in use.  

ALSO READ: Delivery drivers under pressure create multiple profiles 

There are also warnings from the e-hailing company that workers might be barred from working on other apps simultaneously. A huge concern in the sector has been fake accounts to create multiple accounts and maximize profit on different platforms. 

Driver voices

In March, Uber launched a campaign to elevate the voices of gig workers earning an income through Uber and Uber Eats apps in Australia.  

Gig workers make up one of Australia’s largest workforces. According to Uber research, 82% of drivers and delivery people on their platform support reform combining flexibility with benefits and work protection. They want to be independent contractors while also enjoying some additional perks. For now, it’s not possible. The research further shows that only 7% of drivers using the platform do so in a way that resembles full-time work. 

“We want to do our part and contribute to the consultation process so that legislated reform acknowledges the unique nature of gig work and the significant contribution that workers make to our economy. We believe drivers and delivery people should be represented as part of this process,” Uber’s MD Dom Taylor said earlier this year. 

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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