The household of a meals supply driver who died after being hit by a bus whereas at work will obtain $834,000 in compensation after a courtroom dominated he was an worker moderately 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 mentioned, given supply drivers or “gig staff” have prior to now been categorized as contractors and due to this fact not been given entitlements that different staff obtain.


‘My kids miss their daddy’

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

“My kids miss their daddy each day. My daughter has begun fighting faculty and my son has misplaced his father ceaselessly at simply eight years outdated.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 mentioned it was her understanding this was the primary case the place there was an admission {that a} gig financial system driver has been thought of a employee.
“Gig financial system staff and their households are often denied any entitlements as a result of they’re thought of impartial contractors moderately than staff, that means they’re unable to entry staff’ compensation and different advantages comparable to annual go away and sick go away,” Ms Mackovic mentioned.
“This additionally implies that staff or their households are usually not assured lack of wages funds, medical funds or a lump sum for any impairment suffered if they’re injured or sick, and even within the case of dying as has occurred right here.
“Gig financial system firms are avoiding their duties to adequately shield the individuals who work for them, a lot of whom are migrant staff who’re significantly susceptible.”
TWU nationwide secretary Michael Kaine welcomed the choice.
“After two lengthy years, justice has lastly been delivered for Xiaojun’s household,” he mentioned.
“No household ought to need to expertise the indescribable grief of dropping a cherished one at work.
“Whereas no quantity of compensation will really heal the loss Xioajun’s household feels, this determination goes a great distance in direction of righting a horrible improper.”
In a press release, a consultant for HungryPanda mentioned the corporate had put a spread of initiatives in place to extend employee security because the dying of Mr Chen.
The spokesperson mentioned 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 had been compliant and including accessible security data and options, together with additional time log-off notifications to drivers, on the app.

“Our ideas are with the Wei household at this tough time. Drivers’ security is our primary precedence as an organisation and HungryPanda shall maintain working onerous to maintain our drivers secure,” they mentioned.

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