It was only a matter of time but after an exhaustive two-year investigation, the Fair Work Ombudsman has declared Uber drivers to be legit contractors.
The outcome brings huge relief to Uber and other gig economy operating who were last left in a somewhat perilous position following the Foodora case in which the Fair Work Commission found that its riders were employees, not independent contractors.
So why did Uber get off?
Key to Uber's success was that its drivers genuinely had the freedom to choose when they worked, how long they worked, or if they worked at all. This aligns with the Foodora decision in which the Commission found that Foodora's "batching system" led to significant control over when its riders worked.
While Uber is cruising from this victory, it would be unwise for others, including gig economy operators, to solely focus on a worker's freedom to choose their hours as establishing a genuine contractor relationship. Although it's an important part of the equation, a global approach, which takes account all aspects of the engagement, is still required when assessing to true nature of the relationship.
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