If you’ve ever been to a pub gig, you’ll have taken part in what the Albanese government wants to (effectively) close down. The Albanese agenda is starkly clear after Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke declared the ‘gig economy’ is a ‘cancer’.
Here’s a simple example of why we strongly oppose the Albanese/Burke agenda.
The gig economy is not something new. The Stones, Cold Chisel, AC/DC all did and/or do ‘gigs’. Gig is the contractual lifeblood of the entertainment industry locally and globally.
A gig is pretty simple. There’s a contract for a set price to do something. “Come to my pub. Play for three hours and I’ll pay you a thousand bucks”, says the pub manager. “Done”, says the singer. The singing done and the money paid. End of contract.
Somehow, for the Albanese government this is a ‘cancer’.
However, this familiar entertainment industry ‘gig’ model has taken new forms. Now gig work is available for ride-share, food delivery, aged and disability care, and odd jobs. The list goes on. And, yes, the entertainment industry has gig platforms. Gigsmash is but one.
What’s happened is that online technology has made gig work secure. Gig platforms enable anyone wanting to do a job to connect with someone needing a job done. The revolution is that job specifics and price are upfront and agreed by the parties. The gig platforms also make the payments and enable both the ‘doer’ and the ‘receiver’ of the service to rate each other.
It’s fantastic. The risk of not being paid is massively reduced. Think of how many times a pub manager has failed to pay the full amount agreed, screwing over the worker (singer)? It’s the security of payment and security and clarity of the gig work agreement that’s made this expansion of gig work so seemingly popular. And it’s all happened without government sticking its nose in!
But Minister Burke has promised to create laws that will require gig workers to have holiday pay as one eample.
So the pub manager will have to pay holiday pay on top of the $1,000 agreed. How is this to be calculated? Holiday pay is for full-time employees who’ve worked a full year. How is this to be calculated for 3 hours work and no more? Ouch! That has heads scratching! But let’s say it’s $10. It’s clear what will happen. The pub manager will only agree to $990 for the gig. $10 will have to be held back.
But when does the gig singer get the $10? Does the singer determine when it’s ‘holiday’ time or does the pub manager decide? Sounds like a recipe for scamming! So will Albanese/Burke then set up a massive new government-run department to manage gig workers’ holiday pay? Will the singer need to apply to the government for the $10?
But there’s more. Around 830,000 Australians do gig platform work in any year. But only 22,000 use gig for their full-time work. In other words, around 810,000 Australians (about 7 per cent of the workforce) only use gig work as part-time top-up work. How is gig holiday pay to be calculated for all these part-timers?
Whatever Albanese/Burke do, it’s destined to be a mess. The proposal/promise is illogical. It doesn’t fit the reality of how people work. It’s dumb. Its dangerous. It will do much harm.
We will keep arguing against this.