Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

Lessons from Fair Work on Employees Versus Contractors

Uber drivers are not employees, rather they are contractors. This was confirmed in a recent trial. The plaintiff Mr Kaseris claimed that he subject to unfair dismissal as he was dismissed after he had his Uber account deactivated by Uber after being subject to low customer service ratings. The representatives of Uber's Australian arm Raiser Pacific (‘Uber’), claimed that Mr Kaseris was not subject to unfair dismissal laws, as he was an independent contractor and not an employee. Employee status is a requirement under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) for unfair dismissal. The decision is important for clients that provide a platform and marketplace for independent service providers, such as Deliveroo. The decision also provides a useful outline on how the FWC will decide whether a genuine independent contractor relationship exists.

  • The Driver was subject to a Services Agreement.
  • The Driver had control over the manner, location and time of work.
  • There was no exclusive relationship between the driver and Uber.
  • The Driver was tasked with establishing business assets and expenses.
  • The Driver was not permitted to display the Uber logo or branding.
  • The Driver was responsible for their individual tax affairs.

So this now conveys that while, under foreign laws many within the gig economy may be considered employees, within Australia they are largely seen to be contractors.


  • Updated: 31st August, 2018