Three quarters of people working in the gig economy say they are being paid less than $7 an hour, according to submissions to a Victorian government inquiry.
About 100 submissions have been made to the state government’s On-Demand Workforce inquiry into industries such as food delivery and ride sharing.
Former Foodora rider Josh Klooger last year won Australia’s first unfair dismissal claim against the delivery service after he stood up for better working conditions.
“It was pretty good at first, I was getting paid around $25 an hour with a delivery rate per drop, but as other companies came in, the market grew, the newer drivers were getting paid less and less until it got to a point where I had to speak up about it,” the university student told reporters in Melbourne on Tuesday.
Mr Klooger said newer drivers were getting paid $7 per delivery and nothing per hour by the time he left.
“When it was really busy you could do around three or four (deliveries an hour) and when it was not you’d do none,” he said.
Injuries are a frequent occurrence on the job but there was little support from the companies when that happened, Mr Klooger said.
According to the Transport Workers Union submission to the Victorian inquiry a survey of riders found three out of four earned below the minimum wage, including rates as low as $6.67 per hour.
State Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas said Mr Klooger’s story was not unique and there were high levels of vulnerability and insecurity in the sector.
“Everybody values the services that we get from our on-demand services, it makes for a much better performing economy you can get much more responsive service,” he said.
“But we do need to make sure the workforce are well protected, they have little access to collective bargaining and it would appear only limited capacity to rely upon award protections.”
The inquiry will not pe holding public hearings but will talk to industry stakeholders before reporting later this year.