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Sep 06, 2022
The Fair Work Commission full bench has overturned a ruling that decided a Deliveroo motorbike rider was an employee and had been unfairly dismissed due to poor performance. The verdict, which was a landmark case in May 2021, determined that the rider was an employee and therefore was entitled to minimum wage and benefits as relevant to their position.
Deliveroo appealed this decision, and in August 2022, the FWC full bench overturned the earlier ruling. This decision means that Deliveroo workers and others in similar positions within the gig-economy cannot lodge claims of unfair dismissal in the future.
The FWC stated that the original decision was correct at the time of the ruling, but the verdict was no longer valid due to new cases and precedents set since.
The full bench applied the principles of a High Court case (Personnel Contracting and Jamsek) as follows:
The gig-economy is still evolving, so we can expect to see more changes and different rulings in the future. If you have independent contracting agreements, you should revise them immediately and ensure they align with the latest legislation. If you need any assistance, please call us on 1800 868 254.
In their ruling, the FWC decided that: “The consequence of this conclusion is that Mr Franco was not a person protected from unfair dismissal within the meaning of s 382 of the FW Act and the Commission had no jurisdiction to entertain his unfair dismissal application nor power to grant him the remedies that it did. The Commissioner’s decision and order must therefore be quashed, and Mr Franco’s unfair dismissal application must be dismissed as incompetent. Regrettably, this leaves Mr Franco with no remedy he can obtain from the Fair Work Commission for what was, plainly in our view, unfair treatment on the part of Deliveroo.”
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