Door-to-door delivery of our dinner is a modern luxury. Above all, it provides a service that many time-poor professionals could not do without. However, similarly, it can be a vital side hustle for individuals looking to make a little extra cash.

For years the industry has been plagued with problems.  For one thing, food delivery workers are vulnerable to exploitation as the sector is characterised by a typically low-skilled workforce.

However, there have also been issues primarily pertaining to the work health and safety of the drivers working within platforms such as Ubereats, Door Dash, and Menu Log. As a result, a number of these popular food apps have been litigated for their inability to "deliver" on their legal requirements to provide healthy workspaces.

Fortunately, the recent introduction of a raft of new food delivery laws by the New South Wales Government aims to crack down on work health and safety management - and ensure a better experience for all involved. From practical training to protective equipment, here are all the requirements for food delivery platforms that you need to know. According to New South Lawyers Associate Lee Hooks.

Food Delivery Laws and Work Health And Safety (WHS)

In addition to the general sentiment acknowledging the need for improvement, the first legal changes to Australian food delivery laws were introduced and implemented under the Work Health and Safety Amendment (Food Delivery Riders) Regulation 2022, on 1 July 2022.

According to this legislation, food delivery platforms were required to supply food delivery riders with high-visibility personal protective equipment. The rider must wear the equipment and it must be in accordance with the prescribed Australian Standard. However, this is just the tip of the ice berg.

What does the future hold for Food Delivery laws?

According to Lee, the second set of changes to the Regulation will commence on 1 January 2023. To begin with, here’s what you need to know:
1.  Firstly, food delivery platforms  require provide induction training to food delivery riders. In fact, it is an offence under the new Regulations not to provide the training to riders. The training must contain modules on:
  1. General road safety;

  2. Hazard and fatigue management;

  3. Amongst other things, the use of high-visibility personal protective equipment; and

  4. Work Health and Safety duties and obligations.

2. Secondly, food delivery platforms must not allow a rider to commence work, until they have completed induction training. It is an offence under the new Regulations if a rider is allowed to commence work without the induction training.

3. Thirdly, riders will be provided with a training verification record. The inclusions required in the verification record are:

  1. The rider’s name,

  2. Address,

  3. Date of birth,

  4. The date they completed their training; and

  5. The date on which they were provided with their high visibility personal protective equipment.

4. Fourthly, riders must carry this verification on them while working. They must also make it available for inspection to SafeWork NSW and NSW Police. In addition, is an offence not to have the record available for inspection.

5. Fifthly, riders must wear the high-visibility personal protective equipment provided to them. In contrast to previous times, is currently an offence under the Regulation not to use the equipment.

6. Finally, food delivery platforms require the keeping records on induction training and the provision of high-visibility personal protection equipment. Businesses must keep records for a period of five years and these must be provided to the regulator within five days after receipt of a written request. Failure to provide the records within the specified timeframe is an offence under the new Regulation.

How can I keep up to date with developments in Food Delivery laws?

As a continually evolving industry, the laws related to on Work Health and Safety in digital-based food delivery must be equally agile and adaptable in order to support all parties. For this reason, one of your best sources of up-to-date information is undoubtedly the SafeWork Website.

The amendments to the Regulation specifically relating to food delivery law, can also be found in the Work Health and Safety Amendment (Food Delivery Riders) Regulation 2022. However, while they are a useful resource for hospitality business owners who want to ensure they are work health and safety law compliant, most importantly they are a vital part in creating health safe work places for employees.

This is particularly important as more individuals than ever seek employment opportunities through these platforms. If you are a business owner or driver,affected by a food delivery law matter, there are a number of avenues available to assist you.

This communication is general information and intended to provide commentary only. However, it is not binding legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication.

To find out more, chat with a member of New South Lawyers' Employment Law Team today.