Gig worker safety gear up

WITH a quarter of food delivery riders involved in accidents – two were killed in separate motorcycle crashes in Sydney in the last week – NSW Labor is calling on employers to help keep them safe.

Shadow Minister for Active Transport and Summer Hill MP Jo Haylen said rising unemployment during the Covid-19 pandemic, has prompted a surge in inexperienced bike riders taking to Sydney roads as workers embrace the gig economy and that brings with it a whole range of fresh safety concerns.
NSW Labor has introduced a Bill to force food delivery companies to provide their workers with the appropriate protective equipment.
Shadow Minister for Active Transport and Summer Hill MP Jo Haylen said food delivery companies like DoorDash, Menulog, UBER Eats and Deliveroo, should provide their riders with personal safety gear such as bicycle helmets, bike lights, reflectors and high-vis vests.
“As Covid-19 restrictions continue, food delivery companies are dining out on the fact that we can’t,” Ms Haylen said.
“Delivery riders have a responsibility to comply with cycling laws, but they shouldn’t have to put their lives at risk to deliver a hot meal.”
The Shadow Minister for the Gig Economy, Daniel Mookhey, said the Government needed to ensure companies did the right thing by both their workers and road users.
“Gig workers are entitled to a safe workplace. Providing gig workers with safety equipment is a simple first step,” Mr Mookhey said.
“It is worrying that the Transport Workers Union has found that as many as one third of gig workers have been injured on the job. It is not clear whether they are entitled to sick leave or workers’ compensation. It is the responsibility of the NSW Government to ensure all workers go to work and come home safe.”