REMOTE areas within Pyrenees Shire could have access to vastly improved public transport if one MP gets his way. Upper House MP Rod Barton has successfully established a parliamentary inquiry looking at ways of better utilising the school bus network in country areas.
The question remains, are Uber drivers’ employees? Or independent contractors?
Menulog has stepped up to the mark. My hope is that other food delivery companies will see value in doing the same.
Following the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom’s judgement on the 19th of February 2021, Uber has announced that drivers can expect to receive minimum wage for working time commencing when a driver accepts a trip, excluding when the driver logs on to the app and is waiting for a trip.
This decision by Uber is in direct non-compliance with the Supreme Court’s ruling.
In reaching their judgment, their Honours expressly agreed with Judge Eady’s conclusion in the Employment Appeals tribunal that “drivers were workers not only when they had accepted a trip request or were carrying passengers for Uber, but also in between accepting assignment.”
Further, their Honours upheld paragraph 100 of the Employment Tribunal’s judgement which states that “a driver is ‘working’ under a limb (b) contract when he has the App switched on, is in the territory in which he is licensed to use the App, and is ready and willing to accept trips”.
This is because “being available is an essential part of the service which the driver renders to Uber”.
Uber going out on a rule of their own, in contrast to the judgement, once again demonstrates poor corporate behaviour.
The Victorian Government should be wary of any future dealings with such a company that ignores the rights of its workers and the justice system.
In light of this development in the United Kingdom, we urge the Victorian Government to postpone any involvement of Uber in the Multi-Purpose Taxi Program until the parliamentary inquiry into the program is completed.
In addition, with London Uber also announcing paid holiday leave based on 12.07% of their earnings, a pension plan and free insurance for sickness, injury or parental leave, we ask ourselves why is Uber Australia not applying the same standards here?
The Victorian Government should step up and protect Victorian Uber drivers from wage exploitation.
Quotes attributable to Rod Barton, Member for Eastern Metropolitan and Leader of the Transport Matters Party
“Uber’s actions in the United Kingdom should be a red flag to the Victorian Government. We must act now to protect Victorian Uber drivers and ensure they are being paid fairly.”
“Considering Uber direct non-compliance with the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, the Victorian Government should postpone the expansion of the Multi-Purpose Taxi Program until the parliamentary inquiry is completed.”
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Media Contact: Norm Dunn, Chief of Staff Rod Barton MP, 0438 175 113 Norm.firstname.lastname@example.org
‘While this may be the end of the inquiry, this is the beginning of seeing real change that will tackle homelessness, save lives and provide wrap-around support to those in need.’
This new administrative mechanism, in addition to other amendments, will reduce this pile-up and enable our Courts to get back on track.
Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (12:42): My constituency question is for the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation.
A member of our electorate, Faye, is concerned about the increasing prevalence of scams she is seeing in her community. I have to say I share these concerns. Since the onset of the pandemic we have seen a huge of increase in the number of scams occurring. Many are pretending to be the tax office, others are pretending to allow early access to superannuation and we have even seen scammers pretending to be contact tracers. In my electorate, scammers have been increasingly detail oriented, going as far as to say they are representing the City of Boroondara and asking individuals to answer surveys. These scammers are preying on the financial vulnerability and the uncertainty felt by many due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The information I seek is: what can the government do to find and put a stop to this increasing prevalence of scammers who are causing undue stress and anxiety in my community?
Reply from Minister Melissa Horne 12th April 2021
Scams are a blight on our community and the Government shares the concerns raised by the Member and his constituent. Scams are designed to deceive people, generally for the purpose of stealing money or personal details. Anyone can fall for a scam, as scammers are getting smarter and using more sophisticated tricks to dupe thousands of Victorians every year. As many scammers are based overseas, they are very hard to track and are outside of our jurisdiction.
However, wherever there is scope or opportunity to disrupt scam activity, Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) works closely with other Victorian law enforcement agencies as well as the national Scams Awareness Network, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and other Australian Consumer Law regulators, to do so.
Educating people about how to avoid scams and warning them of new and emerging scams is the best way to empower Victorians and stop the scammers.CAV has a number of resources available to educate the community on scams, including quizzes and informative videos. These resources are available in 30 languages on the CAV website.
CAV also provides timely warnings and information about scams on Facebook and Twitter. It alerts Victorians when particular scams are identified, so it is important Victorians notify CAV of suspicious activity as soon as possible so we can warn others.
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic, CAV alerted Victorians about the potential for scammers to take advantage of public fear and confusion. CAV cautioned the public about fake messages offering immediate government payments and early access to superannuation payments.
The Government will continue to work closely with partners to identify, disrupt and prevent scams wherever it can and to educate and support Victorians to avoid scams.