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Food delivery

NSW is cracking down on gig economy delivery riders to improve safety

- June 5, 2021 2 MIN READ
Photo: AdobeStock
The NSW Government is introducing new laws to improve safety in the gig economy after five food delivery riders died on the job last year.

The new laws will become part of Work Health and Safety legislation and come amid concerns over a lax approach to road safety by the riders themselves.

The changes are being introduced in response to the recommendations in the final report of a parliamentary inquiry into Food Delivery Rider Safety, released today.

The report also recommends a number of operational changes including enhanced reporting of incidents, increased compliance activity by SafeWork, Transport for NSW and NSW Police and issuing riders with a unique identification number.

Better Regulation minister Kevin Anderson said the new measures include making companies such as UberEats and Door Dash provide personal protective equipment for riders, compulsory induction training and a new penalty system for riders to crackdown on repeated unsafe practices.

“These laws have come in the wake of a recent education and safety blitz that found continued widespread non-compliance with the state’s road and work health and safety laws,” he said.

“It is completely unacceptable that our inspectors found almost nine in 10 food delivery riders were not wearing safe, hi-visibility clothing and 40 % were observed riding in an unsafe manner.”

Minsiter Anderson said that following the deaths of four riders late last year the government immediately increased education and compliance to try to lift safety standards.

“But we can no longer stand by while riders continue placing themselves and others at risk,” he said. 

 “That’s why we will now introduce the toughest safety requirements for food delivery platforms and riders anywhere in Australia. 

“Together these measures provide the necessary regulatory tools to drive compliance within the industry and ultimately help create a culture where safety comes first.”

The new measures are in addition to the Food Delivery Rider Safety Taskforce’s Industry Action Plan, which saw the delivery platforms committed to 50 actions to improve the health and safety of their riders.

The Government will commence consultation on the new regulations in September and expects to finalise the changes by 1 November 2021.

The Joint Taskforce report into rider safety is available here.