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December 7, 2016

Deliveroo drivers seek to gain workers' rights and unionisation

The outcome of the recent Uber case has encouraged couriers for other 'gig-economy' type businesses such as Deliveroo to seek more employment protection. 

The Employment Tribunal held that the 2 Uber drivers who succeeded with their claim were entitled to worker status and therefore greater employment rights and protection. Uber has made its intention to appeal against the decision very clear. However, this decision has not surprisingly opened up the floodgates and is already encouraging other couriers to follow the Uber workers’ path to seek more employment rights.

Deliveroo is a group of takeaway couriers in which drivers pick up deliveries from various restaurants and then deliver them to the customer. There are currently around 8,000 Deliveroo couriers in the UK and they are classed as self-employed, independent contractors. 

These 'gig-economy' type businesses such as Uber and Deliveroo are business models that are based on their 'workers' being self-employed. Therefore they do not have to provide individuals with any employment rights such as holiday and sick pay, or even pay them the minimum wage. 

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has stated that if Deliveroo does not provide the couriers with union recognition and employment rights it will make a formal application to the Central Arbitration Committee seeking union recognition. 

These cases serve as a reminder to employers that employment status is a complex area and that they must carefully consider on what basis they are actually engaging their workforce. 

The employment team at Greenaway Scott are more than happy to assist in any employment matters such as the status of your employment. Please contact us at employment@greenawayscott.com 

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