A young father sues giant food delivery companies Deliveroo for unfair dismissal after being fired for being ‘too slow’.
Brazilian expat Diego Franco, 32, worked for the company for three years before being suddenly fired by email on April 23 for taking too long to deliver meals to Sydney.
Deliveroo claimed that Mr. Franco often took “significantly longer” than expected to complete “a large number” of deliveries.
The company said that Mr. Franco had been notified of his slow delivery time, but claims he never received a warning prior to his resignation.
“If I had been told there was a problem with my job, I would have done something about it. I was not told at all, “he told the ABC.
Diego Franco, 32, has worked for the company for three years before being suddenly fired by email on April 23 for taking too long to deliver meals in Sydney
Deliveroo and its competitors Uber Eats, Foodora and Menulog save money by hiring employees as contractors, who are not protected by unfair dismissal laws
“I have not received an email from them saying ‘you are not performing well, we can help you’. I was completely unaware that my performance was not going well.
“It makes no sense to us as drivers to drop off the food late because we don’t get a lot of money.”
Australia’s minimum wage is $ 19.49 per hour, but Franco said he only made $ 10 to $ 12 per delivery on average.
The young father is now confronted with the care of his wife and 11-month-old daughter.
His resignation comes at a time when food deliveries have risen by 230 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic, while customers stay at home to stop the virus from spreading.
“It is inappropriate for me and many other riders in Australia who could be in the same position. We will fight if we have to, ” he told The Briefing podcast on Wednesday.
But because Deliveroo drivers are hired as “independent contractors” and not as standard employees, Mr. Franco’s legal offer will be even more difficult.
Mr. Franco lost his job at a time when food delivery has risen by 230 percent amid COVID-19 as customers stay at home to stop the virus from spreading
Deliveroo and its competitors Uber Eats, Foodora and Menulog save money by hiring employees as contractors, who are essentially their own bosses running their own businesses.
Such companies can then avoid paying minimum wages, sick leave, vacation leave and other fringe benefits.
Contractors are also not protected by unfair termination laws.
To win his unfair dismissal, Mr. Franco must prove to the Fair Work Commission that he was a real employee and Deliveroo has taken part in ‘sham contracts’.
The Transport Workers Union is funding Mr Franco’s case against Deliveroo, who says they intend to defend the claims.
Transport Workers Union national secretary Nick McIntosh said food deliverers are particularly vulnerable.
“If you can just jump on an app and get to work without really having to do much more, it’s quite attractive for temporary work visas because they don’t have to jump through all the normal hoops they would otherwise do,” he said .
“But that makes them particularly vulnerable, of course, because it means the company can treat them the way they want to treat them and really fire them with a stroke.”
McIntosh said the coronavirus pandemic is no excuse for companies to take advantage of their employees.
“It is a real problem in the current COVID crisis that we have to make sure it is not an excuse for employers and people trying to do the wrong thing to exploit people,” he said.
Mr Franco now works for another food delivery company, but he doesn’t make as much money as with Deliveroo.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Deliveroo for comment.
The Transport Workers Union is funding Mr Franco’s case against Deliveroo, who says they intend to defend the claims