Last year, union members rallied and won the first part of the closing loopholes bill. Members have done it again this year, helping the bill pass in its entirety.
Two of the biggest changes include expanding minimum employment rights to gig economy workers and creating a pathway for casual workers to become permanent.
These laws will improve the lives of millions of workers now and in the future.
A fairer deal for gig economy workers
Would you work a job with less than minimum wage, sick leave and no job security?
Australia faces more than 250,000 gig economy workers, many of whom work in food and service delivery.
Gig economy workers are particularly vulnerable, ending up working overtime every week and facing incredible pressure to deliver on time.
Most people have no choice but to work peak hours to make a living, regardless of circumstances or their health. In fact, about 80 percent of these workers depend on gig jobs to survive, and nearly half earn below the minimum wage.
In Victoria alone, between 2016 and 2022, Victoria Police recorded 917 incidents involving delivery riders, including two fatalities. And this number is increasing every year.
Part two of the Closing Loopholes bill includes a set of changes that extend minimum employment rights and protections to gig economy workers.
Fast food and delivery services are not going away, so this is an essential reform that ensures gig economy workers receive the same benefits and basic rights as other workers.
Meaningful pathways to permanent employment for casual employees
The bill includes reforms that introduce a common definition of casual employment and a fair pathway for eligible workers to opt for permanent employment.
This gives casual employees an additional choice as to whether they want to remain casual or seek permanent employment.
For many workers, especially those on the front lines of the cost-of-living crisis, these changes will mean much-needed job security and access to paid annual and sick leave.
Despite what big-business propaganda may fabricate, these changes will not force ordinary people to change permanently: the bill guarantees workers who want ordinary jobs the right to remain ordinary.
Big win for working people
It was a great victory for working people, made possible only by the continuous campaigning of dedicated union members.
The first part of the Closing Loopholes Bill was a monumental achievement that won major changes for workers, from closing loopholes in wage labor to criminalizing wage theft and industrial manslaughter.
Both Australia's most vulnerable and lowest-paid gig economy and an area that protects better rights for casual workers are critical.
If you're not already a member of your union, make 2024 the year you stand with almost two million workers around Australia.
„Oddany rozwiązywacz problemów. Przyjazny hipsterom praktykant bekonu. Miłośnik kawy. Nieuleczalny introwertyk. Student.