Australia’s State of Victoria to Regulate Hiring of On-Demand Workers

On-demand platforms like Uber and Deliveroo exploded in popularity over the past decade, due largely to their innovative business models that made it easy for gig workers to pick up some extra cash, without rigid work schedules and excessive oversight.

For many workers, however, what began as a convenient side-hustle quickly turned into full-time work, but without the safety nets provided by traditional employer-employee relationships.

In 2021, Victoria drafted a consultation paper entitled “Fair Conduct and Accountability Standards for the Victorian On-Demand Workforce,” outlining recommendations for regulation. The Standards follow a growing global trend toward establishing the rights of gig workers and protecting them from exploitation by on-demand platforms.

Regulations are expected to be implemented in 2022 that would: needs, such as:

  • Require on-demand platforms to clearly outline what workers can expect in terms of pay and job performance.
  • Require platforms to provide clear information about penalties applied for poor performance or performance failures.
  • Review platform algorithms to ensure that they are non-discriminatory.

It is worth noting that Victoria was the first state in Australia to criminalize wage theft, establishing laws that make it a crime for employers to deliberately and dishonestly underpay employees or withhold employee settlements. The legislation imposes fines up to $1 million for businesses and 10 years of jail time for offenders.

For global employers, the trend in Australia and other countries toward higher regulation of gig work and protection of the gig workers’ rights should be a warning sign of compliance issues they may face and a prerequisite to forming employment relationships with their staff already today.

Now is the time for international employers to rethink the employment status of their global workforce in order to evade the blurred line between contractors vs employees, correctly define their workers’ status and avoid potential risks and penalties.

With a growing trend of competing for global talent, Acumen International Employer of Record encourages companies planning their global expansion to make every effort to attract, employ and retain the best global talent, making them permanent assets to their teams.

Consider conferring your existing gig workers and contracted remote personnel a broader range of entitlements and benefits. Ask us today why convert your current independents into employees and win an additional competitive advantage by offering an employee status to your newly selected global hires.

Whether you’re engaging a global workforce for your company or for your global clients, you should be wise to stay a step ahead and start your personnel reclassification process before that’s forcibly imposed from country to country.

Acumen provides international businesses with advanced global employment solutions (PEO, GEO, EOR) for engaging and retaining a highly qualified global workforce in 190 countries, with minimal compliance and legal risks.

Contact us today to learn more about how Acumen can help you grow in today’s global economy.

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