Safety concerns over gig economy


A union has raised safety concerns over the safety of workers in gig economy.

Unions NSW, as well as some tradespeople, urge the Federal Government to establish an independent regulator to check on the gig economy.

It comes after the union was able to collect evidence of unlicensed operators taking on risky jobs, including asbestos removal, at low costs.

“This is really unregulated and unsafe work that’s being done by people who potentially have bid for the job, who are not qualified to remove asbestos,” ABC News quoted Unions NSW secretary Mark Morey as saying.

“And they’re creating safety issues, not just for themselves but for the people around them  – the neighbours and everyone in the environment.”

In a statement, the Federal Department of Jobs and Small Business said current workplace health and safety law already captured the gig economy and that it is up to the workers and online job platforms like Airtasker to comply.

A spokesperson for the department also said that Workplace Health and Safety are aware of the challenges presented by gig work and are now taking steps to address the issues.

Mr. Morey, however, believes self-regulation won’t work and calls on the Federal Government to put up an independent body to regulate the gig economy.

“But what we want to see is that the proper regulatory standards that apply in the economy today, particularly for small business owners, apply to these bigger providers so it’s a fair and balanced environment where everyone can compete equally.”

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