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What is gig work?

What is gig work?

Gig work is work that is typically accessed through or organised by digital platforms. These digital platforms are websites or apps that match people that need work done with people who want to do that work.

Typical examples include:

  • Transportation services through platforms like Uber, DiDi, Ola or Shebah
  • Food delivery services through platforms like UberEats, Deliveroo or Menulog
  • Personal, trade, professional or labour services through Airtasker, Upwork, Sidekicker or Fiverr
  • Pet-sitting services through Mad Paws or Pawshake
  • Babysitting services through Sittr, Kiddo or Better Caring

The gig economy in Australia is growing at an exponential rate, with estimates of at least 250,000 Australians being part of the gig economy. While many of these workers do full-time gig work, there are others who do gig work as a ‘side hustle’ on top of a regular job so they can earn some extra money.

While gig workers can be engaged as employees, it is more common for digital platforms to arrange this work in a way that classifies them as independent contractors. This allows the digital platform to avoid being liable for employee benefits such as minimum wages, tax, WorkCover insurance, and more.

As a result, many gig workers do not have access to certain protections under employment law and have reduced opportunities to resolve any legal issues they may encounter while doing the gig work.

Learn about common issues experienced by gig workers.

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