Liberty Victoria is concerned that businesses sourcing labour from the on-demand workforce may be doing so in order to obfuscate the reality of their relationships with workers, and to exploit the uncertainty the current common law test creates
Liberty Victoria is concerned that the Australian Government is failing to uphold its international and domestic human rights obligations in relation to the on-demand workforce. Many protections enshrined in the FW Act do not extend to on-demand workers who are not characterised as employees under the common law test.
There must be a legislated resolution of the question of employment that extends the rights and entitlements afforded to employees to as many workers as possible.
As such, our key recommendations are that the Australian Government:
a. Recommendation 1: Amend the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and the Independent Contractors Act 2006 (Cth) to define an ‘independent contractor’ as an individual who meets the three limbs of the ABC test, and to place a reverse onus of proof for meeting the ABC test on the worker’s employer or principal.
b. Recommendation 2: Amend the Fair Work Act (2009) (Cth) to include a definition of ‘employee’ that includes all workers who do not meet the three limbs of the ABC test.
c. Recommendation 3: Amend the Fair Work Act (2009) (Cth) to extend the powers of the Fair Work Commission to deem particular groups of workers as having access to employment rights.