Uber Eats has overhauled its business model in Australia, requiring riders to hold ABNs and letting them transfer delivery jobs to others in a move that will make it harder for critics to claim its workers are employees rather than independent contractors.

The company’s new contract with riders, seen by this masthead, marks a sea change for the delivery giant, which is abandoning its claim to merely be a matchmaker between restaurants and riders, akin to a dating service, and instead is directly contracting its riders.

Uber Eats’ move follows an unfair dismissal case last year in which three Federal Court judges criticised the company’s argument a worker was not an employee in part because she was allegedly contracted by restaurants.

In a message to riders and a blog post announcing the change, which will come into effect in March and has been in the works for 12 months, Uber Eats said it would make its services better for everyone using its app and was part of the company’s plan to expand into delivering non-food items from stores in more cities.