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Overview

The Victorian Government has established an inquiry into the on-demand workforce. The inquiry is being chaired by Natalie James, the previous Fair Work Ombudsman.

The inquiry will consider the nature, extent and impact of on-demand work in Victoria and the arrangements governing that work. It will investigate the status of people working with online platforms and whether gig economy contracting arrangements are being used to avoid workplace laws and other statutory obligations.

The inquiry will consider workplace relations, work health and safety, superannuation, taxation and accident compensation matters.

The terms of reference for the inquiry can be found on the inquiry website.

The inquiry is required to report to the Victorian Government in late 2019.

Background paper and submissions

A background paper has been published for the inquiry to assist parties who wish to make a submission.

The inquiry is encouraging submissions from representative bodies, individual businesses, workers and other interested parties. Initial submissions are due by 6 February 2019.

Member input sought

The outcomes from the inquiry could have significant implications for a wide range of businesses – not just those operating in the gig economy. For example, one area that the inquiry is considering is whether the existing common law tests that differentiate between employees and independent contractors are sufficient, given the many gig economy businesses that have been established over recent years. Independent contractors are common in numerous industries, including construction, transport and IT.

Ai Group is preparing a detailed submission and Members are encouraged to provide input. This can be provided to Vasuki Paul of Ai Group on email vasuki.paul@aigroup.com.au or telephone 03 9867 0244.

Roundtable Discussions

Ai Group has scheduled roundtable discussions which will be attended by Natalie James, the chair of the inquiry. The roundtable discussions will be held via video-conference between Ai Group’s offices in Melbourne (Level 2, 441 St Kilda Road) and Sydney (Ground Floor, 51 Walker Street, North Sydney), as follows:

  • Gig economy, IT, telecommunications and similar businesses
    • Thursday 28 February, 10am – Noon
    • Monday 18 March, 2pm – 4pm
  • Manufacturing industry
    • Friday 8 March, 10am – Noon
  • Pharmaceutical industry
    • Friday 8 March, 2pm – 4pm
  • Retail and fast food industry
    • Thursday 14 March, 2pm – 4pm
  • Transport industry
    • Monday 18 March, 10am – Noon
  • Construction industry
    • Wednesday 27 March, 10am – Noon

To register your attendance at one of the roundtables, please contact lucy.britto@aigroup.com.au. When registering please indicate which roundtable you wish to attend and whether you will be attending at Ai Group’s Sydney office or Melbourne office.