Menulog to shift towards employment model for food couriers

Its managing director said they “owe it to our couriers to help enhance their life standards”.

Menulog said it will be shifting towards an employment model for its food couriers, as digital ordering and delivery continues to grow in the country.

“Historically, the contractor model was well suited for the Australian market, but as the gig economy continues to evolve, we believe we need to make improvements for couriers that align with our philosophies and values and those of our new European parent group, Just Eat Takeaway.com,” Menulog managing director Morten Belling said in a statement.

Menulog initially worked with restaurant partners with their own delivery drivers to provide online ordering solutions before offering delivery services in 2018.

Being later to market with this service, Menulog said it was able to leverage existing market insight to launch a service based on best practice at the time, with independent contractors facilitating deliveries.

“We are committed to the safety of our couriers, providing them with insurance cover and a fair income. While we are compliant with local laws, we believe there is more we can do for couriers, to better meet our evolved values and moral standards,” Belling added.

“We owe it to our couriers to help enhance their life standards and as such, we have begun looking at how we can improve the way we operate and, as part of this, how we can roll out an employee model in Australia.”

Menulog is proposing a three-pronged approach toward making a shift to an employment model, including a proposal for a new modern award for the on-demand industry.

“Ultimately, we want to employ couriers, however the current regulatory framework presents a number of challenges, with specific regards to existing modern awards, the lack of flexibility they present and subsequent cost. As such, we intend to investigate avenues for employment by making an application for a new Modern Award with the Fair Work Commission and consulting with key stakeholders,” Belling said.

“In tandem, we will begin an employment pilot program with couriers in the Sydney CBD to help inform the longer-term plan. We have also committed to increasing support of our network of contracted couriers by increasing our current insurance cover and examining portable leave entitlements and superannuation.”

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