The household of a meals supply driver who died after being hit by a bus whereas at work will obtain greater than $834,000 in compensation after a court docket dominated he was an worker somewhat than a contractor.
Xiaojun Chen, 43, died whereas using his bike within the Sydney suburb of Zetland in September 2020 whereas working for HungryPanda.

This has the potential to be a landmark case, regulation agency Slater and Gordon stated, given supply drivers or “gig employees” have previously been categorised as contractors and subsequently not been given entitlements that different employees obtain.


‘My youngsters miss their daddy’

In a press release issued by the regulation agency, Mr Chen’s widow Lihong Wei, stated the choice would convey “respect and recognition to all meals supply employees for the important service they supply”.
She stated Mr Chen, who had been sending a reimbursement to China, had deliberate to return to the nation and so they supposed to open a enterprise collectively to handle their prolonged household.
“Now that dream won’t ever be realised. The grief my youngsters, their grandparents and myself really feel can’t be put into phrases,” she stated.

“My youngsters miss their daddy day-after-day. My daughter has begun scuffling with college and my son has misplaced his father endlessly at simply eight years outdated. My father-in-law has misplaced his solely son. Nothing can ever repair this.”

After two lengthy years, justice has lastly been delivered for Xiaojun’s household

Michael Kaine

Slater and Gordon apply group chief Jasmina Mackovic stated it was her understanding this was the primary case the place there was an admission {that a} gig economic system driver has been thought-about a employee.
“Gig economic system employees and their households are often denied any entitlements as a result of they’re thought-about unbiased contractors somewhat than workers, that means they’re unable to entry employees’ compensation and different advantages resembling annual depart and sick depart,” Ms Mackovic stated.
“This additionally implies that employees or their households usually are not assured lack of wages funds, medical funds or a lump sum for any impairment suffered if they’re injured or unwell, and even within the case of loss of life as has occurred right here.
“Gig economic system firms are avoiding their obligations to adequately shield the individuals who work for them, lots of whom are migrant employees who’re notably susceptible.”
TWU nationwide secretary Michael Kaine welcomed the choice.
“After two lengthy years, justice has lastly been delivered for Xiaojun’s household,” he stated.
“No household ought to need to expertise the indescribable grief of dropping a beloved one at work.
“Whereas no quantity of compensation will actually heal the loss Xioajun’s household feels, this resolution goes a good distance in the direction of righting a horrible flawed.”
In a press release, a consultant for HungryPanda stated the corporate had put a spread of initiatives in place to extend employee security because the loss of life of Mr Chen.
The spokesperson stated measures included working with the NSW authorities to distribute security vests to all drivers, working with SafeWork NSW to verify all security measurements and procedures have been compliant and including accessible security info and options, together with time beyond regulation log-off notifications to drivers, on the app.

“Our ideas are with the Wei household at this troublesome time. Drivers’ security is our primary precedence as an organisation and HungryPanda shall preserve working exhausting to maintain our drivers protected,” they stated.

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