7 June 2019
The Fair Work Ombudsman has completed its investigation relating to Uber Australia Pty Ltd (Uber Australia) and its engagement of drivers.
Fair Work Ombudsman examined a wide range of evidence, including drivers’ contracts, log on and log off records, interviews with drivers and Uber Australia, ABN documents, payment statements, banking records and pricing schedules.
“The weight of evidence from our investigation establishes that the relationship between Uber Australia and the drivers is not an employment relationship,” Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said.
It means the uber drivers are not entitled to any benefits from Uber Australia as employees. They are dealt as independent contractors.
“For such a relationship to exist, the courts have determined that there must be, at a minimum, an obligation for an employee to perform work when it is demanded by the employer.”
“Our investigation found that Uber Australia drivers are not subject to any formal or operational obligation to perform work,” Ms Parker said.
“Uber Australia drivers have control over whether, when, and for how long they perform work, on any given day or on any given week.”
“Uber Australia does not require drivers to perform work at particular times and this was a key factor in our assessment that the commercial arrangement between the company and the drivers does not amount to an employment relationship,” Ms Parker said.
“As a consequence, the Fair Work Ombudsman will not take compliance action in relation to this matter.”
“This investigation related solely to Uber Australia and was not an investigation of the gig economy more generally,” Ms Parker said.
Companies in the gig economy use a range of business models and the Fair Work Ombudsman will continue to assess allegations of non-compliance on a case-by-case basis.