https://www.perthnow.com.au/busines...-on-uber-over-driver-conditions-ng-b88773556z Also The West Australian Mar 14th 2018 https://www.pressreader.com/australia/the-west-australian/20180314/281539406477621 The State Government might declare war on Uber’s business model by bringing gig economy contractors under WA’s industrial relations system. In a submission to the Senate inquiry looking into the future of work, Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston reveals former Industrial Relations Commission president Mark Ritter is reviewing the definition of employee in State IR legislation “with the objective of ensuring comprehensive coverage for all employees”. Mr Ritter is also investigating whether gig economy workers could be brought under the State’s IR umbrella, the submission says. Any such move would apply to ride-sharing giant Uber and online platforms, such as food-delivery app Deliveroo and local services marketplace Airtasker, and force them to pay insurance, worker’s compensation and potentially award wages. Uber has fought bitterly in the US and Europe against any bids to consider it an employer, rather than merely an electronic platform that allows contractors to connect with its clients. Describing the gig economy as an “area of major concern”, Mr Johnston said a substantial component of the Australian workforce was not benefiting from Federal workplace protections. “For some workers, the gig economy can offer flexible hours and roles which were not previously available,” Mr Johnston said. “There are, however, concerns about working conditions. Platform-based workers typically lack standard employment entitlements and access to the safety net of minimum or award wages.” The review, due to report by June, is part of a wider look at WA’s industrial relations system, ordered by Mr Johnston last year. In another submission, the WA Council of Social Service calls for minimum employment standards for gig workers. Uber told the inquiry workplace laws were discouraging it from providing benefits to its drivers out of fear they would be classified as employees. In its submission, Uber calls for a scheme of “portable benefits” to step around legal constraints for independent contractors and demonstrate its commitment to “skills development and lifelong learning”.