Unions NSW calls for gig providers to follow Airtasker’s lead following worker agreement


Left to right: Airtasker co-founders Tim Fung and Jonathan Lui

An agreement between Airtasker and Unions NSW aims to improve conditions for workers who use the online job-posting platform, according to reports.

In addition to updating its price guide to reflect award wages or higher, Airtasker will introduce a personal injury policy as well as a dispute resolution process to be overseen by the industrial umpire, Fair Work Commission. It will also work with the Unions NSW to ensure workplace safety standards.

The agreement follows a report, released by Union NSW in September 2016, entitled ‘Innovation or Exploitation – Busting the Airtasker Myth‘.

At the time, union secretary Mark Morey warned of the impact of the gig economy on labour standards.

“The world of work is changing, with new forms of digitally enabled, gig-based work emerging,” he said. “Known as the gig-economy, this form work is eroding labour standards and turning traditional jobs into short term tasks with no employment protections.”

Morey also accussed Airtaker of using a “cloak of innovation and progress” as a means of “circumventing minimum wage rates and remove employee safety nets”, and that it encouraged “a race to the bottom, by pitting workers against each other in reverse auctions for work.”

Following the release of the report, Airtasker CEO, Tim Fung agreed to meet with Unions NSW to discuss its concerns.

Speaking to the ABC AM, Morey described the agreement with Airtasker as ‘positive start”. He added,  “Airtasker have taken a leadership role in the gig economy by making this decision and we’d like to see other gig providers follow their lead”.

See also: Up for the task and on the job: Airtasker’s Tim Fung on shaking up the local labour market.