Who in the Choice Community has been in business for themselves as a service provider?
There may be some very clear concerns with the so called Gig Economy.
The service providers, some kid on a bicycle (e-bike or scooter) is often our observation. Once upon a time pizza deliveries came in the back of a small car or motor bike. Nothing else was home delivered. Personal taxi transport, EG Uber etc has it’s own challenges.
The Gig Economy appears to be driving employment, oops independent contacting income to new lows. Lower even than several large national pizza chains that make use inner city of e-bikes and casual under 18yr old staff to help keep costs down.
While the hours and intermittent work may suit some, who pays the workers compensation for each contractor? If that is what they really are. How fair are the contracted rates in equalising for other benefits and entitlements that would reasonably be expected on longer term arrangements? Who manages the safe hours of work routine of each contractor? Is it OK in our society to have members of the society including foreign temporary workers and students studying full time or holding down multiple part time jobs riding tired through broken sleep or rest periods?
The catch is the foreign and some local businesses that facilitate the Gig Economy are not held to account or responsible. It’s doubtful where the cash flows end up and whether there is any tax benefit to the national economy.
While the state governments (great to see Victoria show interest) can assert some control, taxation and the operation of foreign owned and controlled businesses in Australia are a Federal Govt responsibility. Currently not a lot is being said at that level.
Although apparently (incredulous as I might appear) we have a labour shortage and need to bring workers in from overseas to work on our farms. Perhaps we could alternately start a Gig Economy project labelled ‘Aglab’ or similar and contact Aussies on e-horses to work on the farm. A real opportunity for anyone on Newstart to get a pay rise, and still come in under the low income tax threshold?
Which ever way the Gig Economy develops there appears to be a simple choice for consumers. To support the status quo because we are happy to benefit from and take advantage of the services, or to not use them until such time they deliver to consumers true Aussie values of a fair go!
P.S. Eat in or takeaway, home delivery should cost extra and be a separate line on the bill so I can see just how much there is to save by picking up myself. It works for the local fish and chips, Chinese, Indian and Korean. The last are in the next town though which suggests a night out.