Sharing economy food delivery company misclassified its riders

16 Nov 2018

The sharing economy food delivery company Foodora Australia was charged with misclassifying a rider as an independent contractor and deny him an employment status. The Australian Fair Work Commission ruled that the rider was not carrying on a trade or business of his own, or on his own behalf. Instead, the rider was working for Foodora, his work was integrated into the sharing economy business and was not an independent operation. Despite the attempt to create the existence of an independent contractor arrangement, the rider was engaged as a rider for Foodora and, therefore, was an employee. The company has admitted that their riders were more likely to be employees than independent contractors, and therefore are entitled to more than $5 million in unpaid wages. This precedent can impact the workforce classification in other gig economies around the world, including Uber Eats and Deliveroo. 

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It is frequently mentioned that the Internet is changing the way in which we work. ICTs have blurred the traditional routine of work, free time, and sleep (8+8+8 hours), especially in multinational corporation working environment. It is increasingly difficult to distinguish where work starts and where it ends. These changes in working patterns may require new labour legislation, addressing such issues as working hours, the protection of labour interests, and remuneration.


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