7-day lockdown in Vic, and something for business owners to consider this time round
Well, here we go again!
As you will likely have heard, Victoria has been put into yet another “circuit breaker” lockdown, this time for 7 days. There are only 5 reasons to leave home: the 4 we’re used to, plus to go get vaccinated.
Obviously the impact on Victorian businesses will be immense, with other states and territories slamming their borders closed already. This is a massive kick in the guts, but it pales into insignificance compared with the impact of a longer, more drawn-out lockdown like we saw last year. Fingers crossed, it’s all done and dusted in a week.
Stay tuned to our social channels for more developments and analysis as things unfold.
As we learned during last year’s lockdown, these periods of downtime can be used productively to grow and develop our businesses for when we do get back to normal operations. One thing that’s worth considering if your business uses contractors, is last week’s landmark decision by the Fair Work Commission that some contractors might actually count as employees for tax and other purposes.
Last week food delivery giant Deliveroo lost a case, with the Fair Work Commission determining that food delivery drivers, who are engaged as contractors, do qualify as employees. This has massive implications for pay and leave entitlements, superannuation, WorkCover, and unfair dismissal.
Check out my radio chat with Michael Kaine from the Transport Workers Union for some more analysis.
The determination could also have global ramifications for the big food delivery companies (including UberEats and Menulog), who have argued in the past that they’re actually tech companies that provide a platform to enable this sort of delivery activity, rather than facilitating the service themselves.
This is now a major problem as despite the FWC’s determination, nobody really knows whether a food delivery rider – or a rideshare driver – formally qualifies as an employee or a contractor. I’m left thinking that they’re both, but they’re also neither. And doesn’t that sound like a legal minefield?
I also had a radio chat with Michael Byrnes, who is a leading employment law expert with Swaab Lawyers. You can listen to his perspective and argument on the announcement here (from the 6 minute mark).