Menulog indicated it would trial the reclassification of all workers in Sydney as employees instead of independent contractors.
Research from the Transport Workers Union last year revealed the average wage of a food delivery driver was $10.42 an hour, well short of the $24.80 an hour minimum wage.
At a Senate inquiry hearing into job security, Menulog managing director Morten Belling said the company is reviewing its workers’ rights and wages.
He said he would work with the Fair Work Commission and the Transport Workers Union towards establishing a new modern award, and acknowledged that current casual worker laws are not fit for purpose.
Mr Belling said moving to an hourly rate of pay would “eliminate the need for couriers to be multi-apping to the extent we see today” with employees using the one app.
“While we have been compliant for many years running this business, and we still are, we think we’ve got a moral obligation to do more,” he said.
In response to the announcement, ACTU secretary Sally McManus said the gig economy businesses have benefited from unfair competition, undercutting and undermining not just workers’ rights but local businesses that do the right thing.
“This has to stop,” Ms McManus said. “If Menulog moves to make this more than a trial, we will be calling on all Australians to ditch other delivery apps and only use Menulog, and any other companies who join them. People will be able to benefit from the convenience without also buying exploitation.
“We congratulate Menulog for taking the step to finally accept their workers should have equal rights to all other Australian workers.
“The federal government needs to act to bring in a level playing field and stop letting these corporations get away with Australian workers.”