The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has found that the Road Transport and Distribution Award 2020 (the Road Transport Award), which covers short distance truck drivers, also covers and applies to riders and drivers employed by Menulog.
The decision came as a blow to Menulog, who announced in April 2021 that it wanted to adopt an employee based model, rather than engaging its riders and drivers as independent contractors.
On 24 June 2021, Menulog made an application to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to create a new On Demand Delivery Industry Award, as it argued the 121 modern awards registered with the FWC did not cover or apply to the “on demand delivery services industry”.
The FWC found that Menulog’s business activity of “the collection and delivery of food, beverages, goods or any other item” fell within the definition of ”road transport and distribution industry” in the Road Transport Award.
The Full Bench said that the function of “collection and delivery” by road referred to in Menulog’s proposed industry award, was the same as “transport by road” in the Road Transport Award. Also, Menulog’s proposed definition of “food, beverages, good or any other item” fell within the expression of “goods, wares, merchandise or anything whatsoever” in the Road Transport Award.
As a result of this decision, the Full Bench said the next step was for consideration to be given as to whether the coverage of employer and employees in the “on demand delivery industries” in the Road Transport Award meets the modern award objectives of the Fair Work Act.
If you have any questions or require advice in relation to the classification of independent contractors and employees, please contact Anderson Gray Lawyers on 1300 851 430 to speak with one of our employment lawyers.