Utilising gig workers in businesses from ride share transport to aged care service providers is widespread practice across industries as an employment model. But with the rapid growth and volume of contracting workers to provide business services it became apparent that some essential worker protections were lacking.

While the Federal Government has undertaken to update legislation to close gaps in workers' compensation and other worker entitlements for gig employees, our Gallagher Workplace Risk experts have developed bespoke health and safety solutions for our gig employment model clients.

Case study: how a workplace safety program helped a gig employer meet regulations

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

For example, we have been working with a large National Disability Service community health provider that uses a gig economy business model. This client uses an online platform to verify and source care support workers (through a casual award arrangement) in the community care sector nationally, and has worked with Gallagher Workplace Risk to address risk improvement opportunities.

Key workplace safety improvements adopted with this client

Following a thorough risk assessment review we worked with this client to build in risk management processes that apply to the gig economy model by:

  • co-designing a work, health and safety framework that provides a continuous road map for achieving safety management and governance for company officers and the business
  • building a fit-for-purpose incident reporting process — capturing accurate data was paramount
  • advising on assurance activities such as lodging and reviewing corrective actions, investigations and aligning these to benchmarks.

By being able to identify and report accurate data through the above activities, the business has identified priority risk controls and designed targeted training programs around these — taking on a more mature risk management approach within their operations at scale.

These activities have allowed the business to build a comprehensive safety performance report to help the company's officers demonstrate due diligence in risk management practices and knowledge, as required for senior management under workplace health and safety legislation.

Helping gig economy businesses implement worker return to work rehabilitation support

The next frontier for workplace safety in gig economy businesses is the return to work and rehabilitation space. Currently gig workers don't have access to resources to help get them back to work. Usually much of the support that enables rehabilitation and a successful return to work comes from the employer, which is not available to gig workers.

The Gallagher Workplace Risk team works with gig-based service providers to build early intervention and workplace rehabilitation services that ensure the users have treatment, recovery and return to work pathways that achieve strong outcomes.

The return to work model provides critical support through:

  • access to occupational therapists
  • access to self-help tools to guide gig workers through their recovery and return to work process
  • connections to government support systems to manage their injury-related expenses.

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

If your business works on a gig employment model we can help you identify and implement workplace health and safety measures

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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