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NSW examines injury cover for food delivery riders

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NSW is consulting on potential personal injury arrangements for food delivery riders injured or killed at work as recent fatalities have highlighted risks created due to rising use of services such as Uber Eats, Menulog and Deliveroo.

“We want food delivery riders protected so that they do not fall between the cracks of our existing workers’ compensation and CTP schemes and other private arrangements,” Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said.

Options include expanding the existing workers’ compensation scheme by deeming delivery riders as “workers” for the purposes of the legislation, or requiring gig platforms to provide personal injury cover for riders.

A new scheme could also be modelled on either compulsory third party arrangements or workers’ compensation protections.

“The food delivery sector is ever-expanding and we need to find a modern and tailored solution to the issues facing this sector,” Mr Dominello said.

A consultation paper released by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority says consumer spending in the meal delivery market increased six-fold between 2015 and 2019, with gig economy providers driving an estimated 78% of the growth.

The COVID-19 pandemic also resulted in more people seeking additional income through delivering food.

“In the latter part of 2020, five food delivery riders tragically died in Australia while engaged in gig economy delivery services,” the paper says.

“The food delivery riders are often more vulnerable road users with less protection in a crash (many are on a bicycle, motorcycle or scooter) and with time pressure for the prompt delivery of meals.”

Feedback on the discussion paper is due by May 28. More details are available here.