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Foodora owes workers $8 million but only wants to cough up half

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Australian taxpayers could be hit with a sizeable bill after food-delivery giant, Foodora offered to pay back less than half the wages bill claimed by creditors and the Australian Taxation Office.

Foodora parent company, Delivery Hero has proposed to pay just $3 million to creditors, despite the company admitting it owes workers $5.5 million in wages, superannuation and tax after incorrectly classifying delivery workers as contractors, rather than casual staff.

The Australian Tax Office is also claiming an additional $2.15 million in super.

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The administrator for the embattled company, Worrells released the report detailing Foodora’s position on Thursday.

Worrells administrators admitted Foodora had misclassified the thousands of workers, leading to a substantially lower wage bill.

“We have now reached the position that, on the basis of the information available at the date of this report, it is more likely than not that the majority of the delivery riders and drivers should have been classified as at least casual employees of the company rather than independent contractors,” the report said.

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Worrells said Foodora had underpaid its workers by $5.25 million if they were casuals, but if the workers were full- or part-timers, the amount would hit $5.55 million.

“This is an important day for workers not just in Australia but worldwide,” Transport Workers’ Union national secretary Michael Kaine told Fairfax Media.

“Never before has a major company in the on-demand economy admitted that its workers have rights in this way.”

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Foodora left the country in August after being hit with lawsuits from the Fair Work Ombudsman and former rider Josh Klooger.