How can we support gig-economy workers in adopting a safe approach to work?
While the gig economy provides unprecedented freedom to decide how and when we work, the opportunity and flexibility are opening workers up to a new world of risks.
WorkSafe is looking to startups for new ways to improve safety in the gig economy.
Working with the passionate team at the WorkSafe Innovation Centre, startups will have the opportunity to win a $150k contract to develop a solution.
What’s the problem?
WorkSafe wants to evolve its services to better support Victorian communities. This involves looking to the future; at future trends, future risks, future workforces; in this case, the gig economy.
About seven per cent of working Australians are finding jobs through the 'gig economy', signing up to more than 100 digital platforms to make a living (QUT + UTS). If international markets are anything to go by, this number is set to climb, with 20-30 per cent of the US and EU workforce involved in the gig economy today (McKinsey).
The explosion of this new workforce brings with it a number of workplace safety risks. Gig workers can find themselves accepting jobs with limited background or without the skills needed to complete the job safely. Without prior context of the job they’ve agreed to, and limited formal training in the area, high-risk situations can emerge that can be damaging for both their physical and mental wellbeing.
It’s a highly competitive, unregulated space and individual workers are often forced to compromise their own safety in a bid to make money.
WorkSafe would like to refocus safety in the minds of gig workers and gig employer organisations and proactively connect this fluid workforce and ecosystem with a safer approach to work.
What are we looking for in a solution?
With this in mind, we are looking for solutions that can provide gig workers and the community with tools and resources to drive positive safety cultures including solutions that:
- Enable gig workers to feel physically and psychologically safe at work, or when returning from injury
- Assist gig workers that require increased support mechanisms (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) and vulnerable workers)
- Use new technology to make legislation and technical guidance more user-friendly
We are looking for solutions that will:
- Reduce the likelihood of physical and mental injuries occurring
- Reduce the total number of preventable accidents
- Decrease recovery time to get gig workers back to work more quickly
Other benefits may include:
- Providing Worksafe with greater visibility and engagement of the gig sector so they are able to tailor initiatives
- Improving the accountability and visibility of safety with gig employer organisations
Who are the customers and end-users?
The solution wouldn’t be ‘owned and operated’ by WorkSafe, but would be used by gig workers or those that support gig workers.
- Gig Workers (industry, groups, support networks of gig workers)
- Companies employing a gig workforce
- WorkSafe (Inspectors enforcing health and safety laws in workplaces and Prevention program managers designing and running programs to prevent incidents and harm)
We are not looking for education or awareness campaigns or initiatives that are closely aligned to support already offered within the WorkWell toolkit or the Mental Health Improvement Fund. We are also not looking for initiatives already covered by the S2030 Digital Transformation work, or internal systems capability work.
What help is available to help co-design the solution?
The selected startup will have the opportunity of working in partnership with WorkSafe’s Innovation Centre to test new ideas, products and services. They will have access to WorkSafe data and analytics and be able to engage with key stakeholders (internally and externally).
Further info on the challenge:
- What data does WorkSafe have on gig economy workers?
WorkSafe have no data and are looking to the startups to provide some data (if they have any- although this is not a requirement). The gig workers are pretty much invisible to them as they don’t have jurisdiction over them currently, however, they are hoping to learn so much more.
What is the opportunity for the successful startup?
This challenge would have up to $185,000 in funding which includes:
- $5,000 for the Pre-accelerator Stage to fine tune your proposal
- $30,000 for the Accelerator Stage to develop an MVP
- $150,000 for the contract during the Development Stage to fully develop and deliver the solution
How does CivVic Labs work?
At CivVic Labs, we go out to government departments and agencies and look for big problems that would benefit from new technology.
These challenges are broadcast to the Victorian startup ecosystem and the best solutions progress to an accelerator experience where you develop a Minimum Viable Product in collaboration with a government customer.
At the end of the program, you're in the running to secure up to $185k to fully develop the solution and we support you along the way with co-working space, coaching, workshops and mentoring.
For more on how this works, head here.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our FAQs page.