Proposed changes risk higher costs for customers

28 May 2023

Proposed changes to place new regulations on the gig economy will reduce the convenience and reliability of the services that consumers want and push up the costs, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“The reason these services have been so successful and embraced by the community is because they have been driven by providing convenient and reliable products direct to their customers.

“These changes will ultimately lead to higher costs for consumers, with less reliable services and more inflexibility for workers.

“The industry is already doing the work by consistently engaging with their workers, recognising their preference for flexibility, as well as introducing the protections and benefits they want.

“There is an expanding workforce of people who are enjoying this new way of working - the flexibility, the increased income and the direct connection with the people they are servicing.

“This is across a wide range of different areas from rideshare, to care services to education.

“There is no place for exploitation of any kind in any workplace, but we need absolute clarity about the problem we are trying to solve.

“These changes would also have serious impacts on small business - we need to remember these are the jobs that allow us to order takeaway from our favourite family-owned restaurant, or shop online from a local corner store.

“At a time when we want business to be innovating with the flexibility to grow, these measures will impact jobs and livelihoods and create a more complex workplace relations system that stifles the ability to keep pace with what customers want.

“Business should be encouraged for responding to their customers’ needs by innovating and expanding the ways they work.

“The proposed measures fail to recognise the importance of flexibility these roles offer, both to the worker and the community.

“The removal of these flexibilities and choice for gig workers will mean restrictions on wages, rostering and the ability to easily move between platforms.

“They would also risk creating an uneven playing field between digital platforms and non-digital platforms in sectors where both traditional and tech-enabled operators currently co-exist.

“It is essential for business to be able to scale up, change course, innovate and try new things in order to continue delivering better services customers have come to rely on.”

Read the Business Council's full response here.


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