Recently, an unfair dismissal judgment in the food-delivery industry was handed down that could have a huge impact on independent contractor arrangements with many industries, especially the real estate industry.

John Knight was asked by Elite Agent to comment on the case and its potential impact on the real estate industry. Here is an excerpt from the article.

The food delivery company Deliveroo was recently ordered to reinstate one of its riders after the Fair Work Commission ruled he was unfairly dismissed last April.

“I think the real estate industry needs to be very aware of the outcome of this case because it could be used as a precedent,” John told Elite Agent.

“In my view, there is a lot of similarity with food delivery drivers, to how independent contractors operate within the real estate industry. Yes, they produce different outcomes, but the effectiveness of independent contractor arrangements has always been questionable,” John is quoted as saying.

“Many of these independent contractors might have an ABN, they might get paid on invoice, they might even charge GST, rather than being paid as an employee,” he said.

“But they probably wear a branded shirt, they are often told what systems to use within the office, they probably sit in the office with all the rest of the employees, and they don’t necessarily have a different brand that they push.

“So really, in some real estate businesses, these independent contractors are using a set of systems (a platform) that the real estate brand is providing them – potentially much like a platform that Deliveroo or Uber Eats provides.”

Deliveroo has indicated that it plans to appeal the decision handed down by the Fair Work Commission but John suggests we watch it closely.

You can read the full article on Elite Agent here.

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