Monday, 15 February 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, food delivery rider Rosya suffered a concussion and an arm injury in a road accident while on the job. She says she had to return to work before she was ready because 'she had no other choice' and was then sacked because she couldn't ride fast enough due to her injuries. What's complicated about workers who are injured on the job having time to recover before returning to work?
I'd ask the Minister for Industrial Relations to add to this, but that is why, in the changes that we're bringing forward into this place, we are creating the pathway from non-permanent work—casual work and other forms of work—into permanent employment. This is why we're seeking to do exactly that. If someone is in a temporary form of employment, in a casual form of employment, then—
Opposition members interjecting—
Yes, just on direct relevance, which might assist with the answer as well: the person concerned, as described at the start of the question, is not employed as a casual; they're engaged as a gig worker. Therefore, the relevance of the bill that the Prime Minister's referring to doesn't help this person at all.
The question made no mention of the nature of the employment contract that the individual was involved in. What our government is seeking to do is get people back into jobs; that's what we're seeking to do. We're seeking to get people onto higher rates of pay by ensuring they're not locked into award wages but have the opportunity to get into enterprise agreements, where the experience clearly shows that they have the opportunity to earn more. We want people to be able to get additional hours and additional shifts, and we want to ensure that the things that are preventing that are removed. That's what we're seeking to do. What those opposite are seeking to do is stop us from doing that.
The issue that is highlighted by the member is of course concerning. It is very concerning. We want to provide more opportunities for the type of employment that provides that security, and I am aware of no other alternative that has been put forward by any other member of this place that would address the situation that has been highlighted by the member, including the policy outlined by the Leader of the Opposition, which does not achieve the outcome that the member has referred to.