The gig economy is under attack—from people who seemingly don’t care about the harm they do

I was in an Uber the other day and got talking to my driver. He was a Sikh. We had quite a conversation about his religion and the importance of it to his everyday life. I’ve never met a Sikh before! He was most interesting. I asked him why he drives Uber. His response was quick. He loves being his own boss. He can make his work fit around his family commitments.

My Sikh driver reminded me of why we at Self-Employed Australia have been doing what we do for almost 20 years. We’ve been defending the right of people to be self-employed. We’ve seen attacks from many directions. The attackers always seem to argue that somehow ‘we’ are being exploited. They can’t seem to contemplate that in self-employment there is economic liberty and freedom! My Sikh driver knows and lives that reality.

Now we are witnessing a renewed attack. This time the new ‘evil’ is the gig economy. We first discussed this in August this year. This ‘gig’ attack is just another of many attacks we have seen that ‘squeezes’ self-employed people through regulation.

  • The Australian union movement is campaigning on allegations of exploitation.
  • A Victorian Parliamentary Research Paper is full of falsehoods.
  • A Senate inquiry has recommended a hugely aggressive raft of regulations that would effectively close down much of the ‘gig’ economy.
  • The Victorian government has announced an inquiry into the gig economy, the reasons given for it almost predetermining calls for more regulation.

On the basis of our experience and analysis, the outcomes sought in these current attacks are clear. The ‘anti-self-employed’ antagonists want to impose ‘sham employment’.

It looks like we have another long and hard counter-campaign on our hands!

Regards Ken Phillips and the Team at Self-Employed Australia