Millions of Australians have food delivery apps on their phones, but now one online giant has been caught up in a landmark legal case.
A young former employee has taken Foodora to the Fair Work Commission, accusing the company of firing him for complaining about being paid less than the minimum wage.
When Josh Klooger started delivering meals for Foodora, the Sydney rider thought he’d found the dream job to get him through university.
“I thought it would be a great way to make money while riding a bike, which is my hobby,” he told 7 News.
Like all riders, the 28-year-old was engaged as an independent contractor with no super, leave, or workers’ compensation rights. He was also paid below the minimum wage of $14 an hour for two deliveries.
“It just got to a point where it was too little for me to not speak out. It dropped down to $7 a delivery, and zero per hour. So if it was quiet, you got nothing,” Mr Klooger said.
He claims he was fired when he raised concerns about the pay.
Mr Klooger is the first delivery driver to take an employer to court for unfair dismissal.
Unions NSW hopes this case will set a precedent for tech driven platforms being held to higher account for how they pay staff.
It wants the government to enforce stricter regulations so businesses can’t abuse the “independent contractor” loophole.
“This is old-fashioned exploitation, 1800s style – this time by sandshoe wearing billionaires, via an app,” said Transport Workers Union of Australia Assistant Secretary Michael Kaine.
The practice was happening a lot, according to Unions NSW Assistant Secretary Thomas Costa.
“The internet provides a huge scale to these sorts of cowboy companies to go out there and mistreat their workers.”
The sacked rider said he would be happy for his old job back – just for a fair day’s pay.