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Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

Queensland government to kick off talks with food delivery services about fees

In a move to alleviate the financial burden on cafes and restaurants.

Queensland government to kick off talks with food delivery services about fees

The Queensland government has announced a meeting will be held next Monday with "key stakeholders" to address the delivery fees that food delivery services such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo are charging local cafe and restaurants.

Queensland Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said the meeting is aimed at helping to alleviate the financial burden of cafes and restaurants.

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"Often delivery companies such UberEats and Deliveroo will charge businesses up to 35% commission, leaving many businesses to wear the cost," she said.

"This is why I will bring together key stakeholders next week so we can look at how to tackle the issue of exorbitant delivery fees as a matter of urgency.

"We need our food and beverage businesses to be open, not just now but also once the economy recovers."

As a result of mandated closures introduced by the federal government to minimise the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak, many cafes and restaurants have had to operate solely on takeaway and delivery orders.

But it is not the first time that the food delivery services have been caught up in a payment-related stoush.

Last year, Uber, Foodora, and Deliveroo were caught up in lawsuits for allegedly underpaying their drivers and riders.

One Uber delivery driver allegedly waited 96 hours to receive orders and was paid around AU$300 for her services -- amounting to less than AU$4 an hour.

Meanwhile, a former Deliveroo rider claimed that he only earned around AU$10.50 an hour -- around half of the Australian minimum wage of AU$19.49.

Similar lawsuits have popped up elsewhere in the world, with an Uber driver operating in California filing a lawsuit against the company over whether they are contractors or employees. 

Separately, Uber is also facing a class action from over 6,000 taxi drivers in Australia, making it one of the biggest class actions in the country's history. The class action alleges that Uber operated illegally from April 1, 2014, to July 31, 2017, as its drivers did not have the proper licences or accreditation, resulting in monetary losses for taxi drivers.

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