Australia, Transport News

QCU calls for Queensland to deliver workers compensation for gig workers

The Queensland Council of Unions says current insurances provided by some digital platform operators are unable to cover loss of income

The Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) is calling on the Queensland government to introduce legislation that will bring gig workers into the Queensland Workers’ Compensation Scheme. 

The calls follow two separate government reviews, in 2018 and 2023 respectively, recommending that gig workers be brought into the scheme.  

Both reviews resulted in reports with a recommendation to amend the Act to extend workers’ compensation coverage to gig workers and require intermediary businesses to pay premiums.   

The QCU is now launching “It’s time to deliver” campaign to hold the government accountable in delivering the recommendations of the report and to ensure multinational digital platform operators, such as Uber, pay their fair share in workers’ compensation premiums. 

QCU assistant general secretary Jared Abbott says there is no better time than now to extend the protection of Queensland’s nation-leading workers’ compensation scheme if these workers are injured or pass away on the job.

“The current insurances some digital platform operators have in place are significantly insufficient to cover loss of income,” Abbott says. 

“Inevitably gig workers unable to resume their delivery or rideshare tasks will be without financial support and end up in the taxpayer-funded welfare or public health systems. 

“At the moment, it’s the public purse footing that bill. This situation cannot be left to continue while these giant firms exploit their workers and expect taxpayers to pick up the pieces.” 

Abbot says the current Queensland’s Workers Compensation Scheme, WorkCover Queensland, doesn’t cover gig workers while companies, such as Uber, also operate without having to contribute to WorkCover premiums. 

“Gig workers deserve the same protections as any other worker,” Abbott says. 

“It’s time to deliver on recommendations made to the government, ensuring that companies like Uber contribute to WorkCover premiums.” 

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