Australia proposes food-delivery levy to fund workers’ compensation scheme

A new compensation initiative aims to protect gig economy workers injured or killed while working,
By: | December 18, 2020

This initiative, the first of its kind in the country, will be funded by a customer levy on food orders.  

The proposed initiative will go before the NSW government and is targeted to be implemented next year. 

Three models for personal injury protection will be reviewed early next year: lump sums for serious injury or death, negotiated settlements, or ongoing support similar to traditional workers’ compensation. 

Around February, a discussion paper is set to come before cabinet and will address issues like workers who operate on multiple delivery platforms and payments for families of workers who have already died. 

The initiative was prompted by the death of five delivery riders within a three-month period in the country.  

NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said the recent fatalities highlighted protection gaps in “outdated” existing schemes, which have not kept pace with the growth in online platforms. 

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority will oversee the development of the initiative. 

READ: Australia: NSW state ends WFH, but most staff still staying away from office

Most major delivery platforms, including Uber Eats, Menulog and Deliveroo, already offer optional private insurance to their riders. 

They provide different and sometimes smaller payouts but can be tailored to the industry’s needs, including riders who work for multiple platforms and may be ineligible for schemes designed for regular employees. However, such plans are not compulsory, said the Sydney Morning Herald.