It can be a tough gig An increasing number of Australian workers are setting up a second source of income to meet by Michael Walker, rising living costs, Communications or as a way to Officer follow their passion. This does not necessarily mean a second traditional job, but can come in all sorts of varieties such as photography, musical performance, YouTube videos, modelling or so-called ‘gig’ work for app-based platforms.
Cuƫng through the hype There is a lot of hype about a new way of working in the ‘gig economy’ with the rise of Uber and Airtasker. Often these are not new ways of working, but rather old jobs with a new way that the work is allocated to, and accepted by, a worker through app-based platforms. No matter how work is allocated — through app-based platforms, or through traditional employment — all workers should be entitled to fair pay and conditions, superannuation and workers compensation.
Photo: Chris Goodwin (supplied by Fairfax) © Fairfax Media Ltd 2018
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App-based platforms receive a lot of criticism because, since they treat people who work through them as independent contractors, it means that work that might otherwise attract sick leave, superannuation and other protections is instead paid at a flat rate. Also, the platform companies are not, at present, obliged to ensure that the rate of pay meets the minimum wage. Recent research by the Centre for Future Work suggests that Uber is paying much less than the minimum wage and that this is actually the main source of its competitive advantage.
Published on Mar 8, 2018