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Uber Eats imposes 'unfair contracts' and ruins deliveries, restaurateurs allege

Have you used Uber Eats (or a food provider that uses the delivery service) and what have your experiences been?

Would you use Uber Eats?

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Wow. No and No.

I nearly choked on my granola when I read this in the article:

“This is in addition to charging restaurants a 35 per cent commission for every delivery made.”

So either my food will be a lot more expensive (effectively ~21$ delivery for a $60 food order) or the restaurant makes far less, as the article mentioned.

Interesting mention of ‘Dark Kitchens’ - only one step further than something like Domino’s and some others I guess …

I’m suspicious of media generally, to say the least, did they try to find food outlets who were happy with them? is the story as bad as it seems? it certainly looks Uber Dodgy. Maybe they named it after the acronym for uncorrectable bit error rate …

… 35% !!

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I decline to use any of the 3rd party delivery services. We occasionally get pizza or Chinese delivered by the providers own drivers when we are knackered. The 3rd parties that are proliferating make Visa and Mastercard look like non-profits in comparison the way they skim off the top.

If the reality is UberEats takes no responsibility for anything except arranging a 4th party to deliver, takes a big cut of the $meal, and puts all the responsibility for that 4th party driver back on the restaurant, I would think so.

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Being involved in transport and still maintaining some links in the industry the information supplied by @phb makes for very disturbing reading . The consumer watch dogs certainly need to keep an eye on Uber and others providing the same service to see how this progresses in the future .

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No & No.

Just as I am with other mega-corporations, I’m appalled at Uber’s use of their business’s size to impose unethical and immoral terms and conditions. Not to mention their attempts to circumvent laws.

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No, if they charge that much would prefer to go to the restaurant. Hardly ever get home delivery but if so will use my locals as they employ drivers to deliver.

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I am with you but in my area of suburban Melbourne an increasing number of places that used to employ their own delivery people have been slowly but surely moving to the likes of UberEats, Deliveroo, MenuLog, EatNow and so on as outsourcing ‘opportunities’. Many shops and restaurants offering takeaway have multiple ‘affinity decals’ displayed.

Most of them had online menus on their own web sites, but now have minimalist web sites with the menus and take away ordering done by outsourcers. When I encounter that I do my best to buy elsewhere. This is happening from pizza and fish & chips shops to restaurants.

As profit minded businesses they are sold on ‘we provide the service and you have no employee expenses’ and do not grasp that doing that detaches them from their customers, takes delivery quality out of their control while maintaining responsibility from bad/wrong orders to being delivered ridiculously late to whatever.

The customers’ detachment from the business will probably come back to haunt many of them and they will wonder what happened.

A good pizza place closed because they offered a superior product at a reasonable price, small delivery fee, local only. Many of us liked to pick up to have a quick chat with the owners. They seemed to build up a good clientele of repeat customers. 2 years on when they reopened from their Christmas break their ordering was ‘outsourced’ and their prices went from reasonable to obscenely top end. I suspect the outsourcers gave them a lot of marketing data and they sought their ‘expected and deserved’ profits as well as ‘competitively pricing’ against their local competition. They lost the plot about who their loyal customers were. 6 months later they were gone. The cause and effect is purely anecdotal, but.

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I am in a smaller area so our restaurants are safe at the moment. I will be keeping a lookout though.

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It looks like the tide is starting to turn in regard to how Uber Eats treats their delivery drivers.

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Confusion Rules?

The ABC Headline, “Slavery in modern Australia: sacked Uber Eats worker’s case …’

Uber’s various business models for the Big economy premise there are no workers.

There are no workers? FWA agrees with Uber.

Well there are. Each independent contractor is their own worker.

Underpaid? The pay rate is self imposed. Each contractor to Uber has a legal right to negotiate the rate. Uber can offer a low rate without option. The independent contractor can accept or walk away.

What is it about individuals ambitions and or the current employment situation in Australia that encourages Australian’s to work long and unsafe hours. And for rates of pay less than half the minimum award, without leave and other entitlements?

If the ATO does not consider Gig Economy arrangements as ‘sham contracting’, and FWA does not consider the workers involved as employees of the principle enterprise EG Uber, what is left.

Should FWA or the Union movement look to the self employed contractors and take them to the commission for under paying themselves? This may or may not be legally possible.

The alternative would be for government fo step up, and create a floor for Gig Economy contract rates. Just as there is a minimum award wage and employment conditions, enact Gig Economy contractors are also entitled to the same minimum rates of pay and conditions when self employed.

Those electing to contract would need to set their rates high enough to cover wages, entitlements, overheads, GST, and operating costs.

And under state Safe Work legislation, also meet safe hours of work, and other legislated requirements.

Uber etc, has no authority in any of these areas.

And all Uber contractors can if they choose act collectively to refuse Uber’s offers until a suitable rate is achieved. With or without government intervention.

P.S.
I prefer to vote more directly and not use Gig Economy services. However a great many Australian consumers obviously accept services at slave labour rates without question. Canberra is largely silent, possibly because even if under paid each worker in the Gig Economy is one less on welfare?

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And to be considered employed it only takes 1 hour a week at that miserable rate of pay…great for employment stats and just terrible for the worker.

@Fred123 I hope they win but I think it is unlikely they will or the Govt will legislate it away if they do win.

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Uber Eats comes off second best.

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It could have been far worse if the court had deliberated and made a decision.

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Which is undoubtedly why Uber Eats settled out of court.

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We still await a legal precedent to be set on this issue of whether “gig workers” are considered employees under workplace laws, or independent contractors as these companies operate.
The Federal Government could legislate to resolve this, but will they? Don’t hold your breath waiting.

The alternative might be to legislate they are employees of their own enterprise. IE they are each individually legally required to comply with workplace laws to the same standard as if they were employees of any business irrespective of numbers of employees.

Hence:
In the spirit of the law they cannot pay themselves less than the basic wage or equivalent minimum award rate. Even though self employed they must also meet minimum super contributions, work cover insurances and public liability/business insurance. Any equipment/vehicles used also need to have a minimum standard of insurance cover for commercial use. Safety management certifications and management plans would also seem reasonable. Accident and sickness cover, allowances for annual leave etc should all be grossed up. The self employed gig worker would be legally required to meet all these provisions as they earn, and not p… it off at the pokies, or …

These are the same standards that would apply to employees and businesses carrying out similar work.

If this is what is being asked of a large employer, the same needs to apply to workers in the gig economy. It should also be a requirement any contract entered into by a gig worker - self employed to demonstrate the gig worker meets all the long list of provisions and conditions, and that the contracted hourly or piece rate includes all the associated costs explicitly.

The law could require the enterprise issuing the contracts to with-hold a percentage or fixed amount from every payment aligned to all the added costs to the basic labour charge. Each gig worker would be responsible quarterly for reconciling the accruals similar to the gst system with the ATO. The result needing to claim the additional income against an agreed system of credits/receipts.

Does any of this sound complex, labour intensive, or challenging? It’s a lot like what any employer needs to do with lots of little extra details omitted. It’s why the gig economy loves independent workers. And why many independent workers feel that even $20 per hour or less is a great income. They get to keep it all.

Based on a minimum wage of around $20 per hr by the time you add in all the extra allowances, insurance costs etc $40 per hour might not quite cover the extras.

Currently gig workers can say no to what they are offered. Most don’t for the obvious reasons. They are desperate for employment.

While the government could legislate a number of different solutions, others will say it is us consumers who are to blame. It’s consumers mostly using and accepting to our benefit services provided by lowly paid gig workers.

We could all just stop taking advantage of the gig economy and pay more?

In the interim, we choose not to use Uber, or any of the food delivery services. Debatably Taxi services and others have been taking advantage of consumers. Does this justify robbing someone else through low pay and lousy conditions for revenge. In most ways Uber etc are no more worthy of praise than the Taxi coops and delivery services they are competing with. Some might suggest less so.

P.S.
Unlikely my take on events is unique and others may see other issues or solutions. It can’t stay the way it is. Gig workers are effectively without legal or financial protection most employed Aussies are provided. I’ve been self employed and know how much extra income we required to meet all reasonable accruals and insurances.

I think that is overly complicating things.
A Uber Eats deliverer does a job. Picks up food from a producer, and delivers it to a requestor. They provide a service in return for payment.
So, whomever pays the Uber Eats deliverer could be considered for workplace laws the “employer”. It could be one of three; the food producer, the food requestor, or the company that facilitates the delivery, Uber.
In this case it is Uber paying the deliverer, so they could be considered an “employer” and need to meet basic employer requirements unless they have a genuine contractor agreement in place.

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In the first instance the example of Uber Eats would need to withhold personal income tax, and for many make super contributions, etc etc. there is no halfway house. You are either an employee or not!

The loophole is that there is a properly made contract, and their is no legal obligation on the minimum contract rate or conditions. Government however is not assessing how the independent contractor is conducting their business and delivering services against common wage and workplace standards. They are exempt from minimum wages and conditions is my understanding.

That is an aside from the many other conditions an independent contractor may be required to meet if delivering services to a fair dinkum Australian business such as BHP.

What?