Uber Eats has revealed a new contract with its Australian riders – but unions say it’s another way to claim delivery riders aren’t employees

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  • Uber Eats has reportedly introduced a new contract compelling food deliverers to provide an ABN, among other changes.
  • The Transport Workers Union claims the contract is a new attempt to obscure Uber Eats’ responsibility to delivery riders.
  • The Federal Court last year criticised Uber Eats’ arguments that it is not an employer, but a platform connecting riders and restaurants.
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Food delivery giant Uber Eats has reportedly introduced a new contract compelling riders to provide an ABN, leading one union to accuse the company of obscuring its responsibility to food deliverers by asserting they are independent contractors.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the contract, which comes into effect in March, also confers the ability for delivery riders to turn down jobs and trade orders with other deliverers.

The contract was revealed in a company blog post which outlined broad improvements to the Uber Eats service in Australia, the SMH reports.

The news comes weeks after Uber Eats settled an unfair dismissal case with an Adelaide food deliverer who alleged she was sacked for dropping off an order 10 minutes late.

During the trial, the Federal Court criticised Uber Eats’ arguments that it is simply a platform connecting restaurants and deliverers, not a fully-fledged employer.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU), who represented that food deliverer in the Federal Court, today said the latest contract is another attempt to keep riders from proving they are employees — thereby keeping them from entitlements like sick leave, annual leave, and a minimum wage.

The contract “shows that Uber is well aware that it imposes working conditions far below the standards expected in Australia,” said TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine.

The TWU said it has met with Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter about a proposed tribunal focused on the rights of gig economy workers.

Companies like Uber Eats, the TWU and government authorities reportedly met in December to discuss safety regulations in the sector, after the death of five delivery riders late last year.