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Old 2nd Aug 2022, 13:32
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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UBER is currently being sued in the US for numerous sexual assaults that have been committed by UBER drivers, will be a good test of how responsible for their drivers the courts feel they are. In the UK UBER drivers have been legally termed employees of the company and therefore the company is directly responsible for their wellfare, conduct and entitlements. They had the same 'contractor' argument in the US and UK, but it seems when challenged in court it doesn't stack up. You can write whatever legal jargon you want until its challenged in a court, then the courts decide if your jargon matches your actual conduct. The main issue is getting the cash to challenge UBER in court, as both the above were/are done as class actions. In Australia it would only take a class action of drivers/taskers to push for consideration as employees rather than contractors for things to change.

I am aware that individuals have requested FWO make rulings on UBER and failed in that they upheld the drivers as contractors, however the fact a driver can not set the payment rate is a key argument that courts overseas have ruled in favor of drivers being employees. UBER post the FWO decision then required drivers to have an ABN and GST registry to use the app, in some vague attempt to say that the drivers were definitely contractors, however its still a huge grey area.

With regard to Taxis the owner is responsible for the vehicle and whatever damage it may inflict. The driver of the vehicle is paid as an employee and therefore indemnified and covered by the employers insurance and required conditions and entitlements. In Australia vehicles are insured for accidents, the driver just has to be approved by the insurance company. That's for accidents, but in the case you don't vet your drivers as fit and proper to provide safe transport with adequate training then things can get nasty if the driver does something improper outside the rules.

Only have to remember that a QF ground employee sucessfully sued QF and a 16 year old learner driver that he had let drive the company car he was in charge of and was awarded millions in damages, the payment of which to be shared between QF (vehicle owner) and the Driver.


Last edited by 43Inches; 2nd Aug 2022 at 14:26.
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