Food delivery apps urged to crack down on ‘unrealistic’ delivery times and rider fatigue in NSW draft safety guidelines

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  • Food delivery platforms have been urged to ensure the safety of their riders in draft SafeWork NSW guidelines, according to the ABC.
  • Gig economy giants should avoid setting “unrealistic” delivery times and bar riders from working more than 12 hours at a time.
  • The draft guidelines come after the deaths of several food delivery riders on NSW roads in late 2020.
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Food delivery apps should be made safer for on-road use and “unrealistic” delivery times must be avoided, according to new draft safety guidelines from a SafeWork NSW taskforce.

ABC reports the Gig Economy Joint Taskforce, which was established in late 2020 following the deaths of four food deliverers on NSW roads, will provide the draft guidelines to food delivery apps and gig economy workers on Monday.

The guidelines reportedly call for a renewed focus on rider safety, proposing that delivery times should not place riders under “unreasonable” time constraints or physical exertion.

Other guidelines include a ‘lock-out’ feature which would bar riders from working after 12 hours on the road, while delivery platforms have been advised to ensure riders are adequately versed in NSW road and bike rules.

Transport and Roads Minister Andrew Constance told the ABC those guidelines will be considered for the state’s official safety plan, which is slated for release in April.

The increased focus on food delivery safety has been welcomed by the Transport Workers’ Union, but national secretary Michael Kaine says more needs to be done.

“Light touch guidelines are unlikely to pose a threat to companies who have expertly honed their ability to evade hundred-year-old workplace laws,” he said.

Kaine reiterated calls for a separate tribunal overseeing the rights and protections of gig economy workers.

The guidelines come as the federal opposition prepares to launch its new industrial relations policy framework, which could reportedly compel food delivery giants to provide its riders with entitlements including a minimum wage.