Gig economy employers have been forewarned: the Federal Government has put the sector on notice that legislation to close gaps in 'gig' worker protections, such as sick leave and workers' compensation entitlements, is near.

The rewards and risks of the gig economy have been under debate for some time, fuelled by new, disruptive customer experience and growth-driven business models, like Uber, which have also deregulated some industries and removed standard worker protections.

Government and industry focus on the gig economy has recognised the risks of less than adequate standards for fair work conditions and the safety and wellbeing protections of gig workers, and have moved to address these shortfalls.

How gig employment conditions are likely to change

The Federal Government is legislating to give the Fair Work Commission new powers to set minimum standards for gig workers, and congratulates the Transport Workers' Union and Uber on striking a significant deal that recognises gig workers need more rights. Other delivery services are expected to follow suit.

The Fair Work Commission is looking to revise legislation to provide improved protection for gig workers and this is expected to have implications for the gig business model and service providers utilising this staffing approach. Against the backdrop of employee/worker shortages across industries there is an additional opportunity to improve worker availability and workforce supply with the goal of improving standards in the gig space.

How can better risk management support the gig worker model?

Technology and scale present unique challenges to gig employers — especially when they have an 'arms-length', or remote, touchpoint with workers. Under these conditions the normal onsite training, induction and face to face supervision model is being challenged and up-ended.

For businesses which utilise gig workers liability insurance is likely to be affected by how these regulatory changes play out, and the Gallagher Workplace Risk team is working with clients across various gig economy operations to build risk management into their approach.

Improved risk management for gig worker businesses includes introducing risk assessment, pathways for workers to report concerns and mechanisms for response ‒ and the bottom line is gig based service providers need to consider the right insurance and policy wordings to protect their businesses.

These insurance policies might include

What targeted insurance cover can provide gig worker protections?

The Gallagher Workplace Risk team supports our gig economy clients through development of targeted and customised risk and insurance solutions. This includes partnering with our clients to build platforms for gig workers to incept personal accident cover and other policies such as compulsory third party motor insurance and public liability protection.

With other clients, particularly in the National Disability Service (NDS) - backed disability support and carer space, our Workplace Risk team has developed bespoke group personal accident policies to provide enhanced coverage to their providers without compromising the employment relationship.

Interested in reviewing your organisation's health and safety standards?

We actively support businesses in the gig economy space in building risk management into their operations. This includes introducing risk assessment, pathways for workers to report concerns and mechanisms for response.

The Gallagher Workplace Health & Safety offering encompasses everything from safety mentoring and training through to health and wellness programs, hazard and risk profiling, and incident management and investigation.

Find out more by talking to one of the experts on the Gallagher Workplace Risk team.



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