An Uber Eats driver is not an employee

An Uber Eats driver is not an employee, because: No control — Uber Eats exercised no control over whether, when, or how long the driver performed the work. No exclusivity — the driver, while logged on to the Uber Eats app and while performing a delivery request, had the right to accept and perform work […]

‘Ode to a Scab’

“It is sometimes thought, in the traditional union movement at least, that to label someone a scab is the worst insult that can be given.  At a minimum, it is a call to shame and ostracise that person.  It signifies that they have been guilty of unforgiveable, and unredeemable, treachery which will blight their reputation […]

A significant judgment about employers’ obligations of consultation

In a significant judgment given last week, in Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union v BHP Coal Pty Ltd [2016] FCA 1009, the Federal Court dismissed a union’s criticisms of a process of consultation, and in doing so made three points of general importance about employers’ obligations to consult about workplace changes. An enterprise agreement required the […]

What does Jones v Dunkel really mean?

No case is more often cited, and more often misunderstood, than Jones v Dunkel (1959) 101 CLR 298. It stands for two propositions. The first – and I think the most important – governs drawing inferences generally.  An inference is a conclusion that a fact exists based, not on direct evidence, but on the existence […]

Workers in the ‘Gig Economy’

The law is beginning to engage with the new gig economy. Today there are reports of a possible sham contracting test case in Victoria to establish whether riders working with food delivery companies such as Foodora and Deliveroo are independent contractors carrying on their own businesses, as those platforms assert, or whether they are in […]

The meaning of CFMEU v BHP Coal Pty Ltd (2014) 253 CLR 243

Despite the best efforts of commentators to complicate the answer to this question, it is disarmingly straightforward. The majority followed Board of Bendigo Regional Institute of Technical and Further Education v Barclay (2012) 248 CLR 500 in recognizing the critical distinction between the characteristic protected by s.340 or s.346(a) of the Fair Work Act 2009 […]