Stu­dents make up half of De­liv­eroo’s 15,000 rid­ers

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By

Anna Isaac ABOUT half of De­liv­eroo’s 15,000 self­em­ployed rid­ers, who de­liver take­away meals on bi­cy­cles, are stu­dents who pre­fer flex­i­ble work­ing, a select com­mit­tee heard yes­ter­day.

Of the fleet of rid­ers, 66pc work fewer than 15 hours a week, sup­port­ing the idea that this is an ac­tiv­ity that com­ple­ments other work­ing or ac­tiv­i­ties such as study­ing, ac­cord­ing to the ev­i­dence of Dan Warne, manag­ing direc­tor, UK and Ire­land, at De­liv­eroo.

Speak­ing be­fore MPs on the Busi­ness, En­ergy and In­dus­trial Strat­egy Com­mit­tee, as part of the Tay­lor Re­view into mod­ern work­ing prac­tices, in­clud­ing those of the “gig econ­omy” and its im­pact on work­ers’ rights, Mr Warne said that the com­pany wanted to of­fer in­creased ben­e­fits for rid­ers, such as in­surance, but only if the flex­i­bil­ity of the sys­tem of in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tors could be re­tained.

Mr Warne noted that the com­pany had grown 600pc in 2016 and now em­ploys over 900 full-time equiv­a­lent staff; a feat that he be­lieved was only pos­si­ble be­cause of the abil­ity to ser­vice high de­mand, with a rider model whose flex­i­bil­ity was its key at­trac­tion. He was joined in front of the select com­mit­tee by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from taxi app com­pany Uber and de­liv­ery firm Her­mes.

A free­lance courier for Her­mes said on call­ing in sick he was told that he was less im­por­tant than a par­cel, ac­cord­ing to Labour com­mit­tee mem­ber, Peter Kyle MP. This tes­ti­mony re­flected a “com­plete chasm”, ac­cord­ing to Mr Kyle, be­tween the pos­i­tive and flex­i­ble work­ing life the firm pre­sented and the ev­i­dence the com­mit­tee had re­ceived. Hugo Martin, direc­tor of le­gal af­fairs at Her­mes, said that he had not heard of such prac­tices tak­ing place.

Dan Warne from De­liv­eroo said its work­ers ben­e­fited from flex­i­ble shifts

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