De­liv­eroo vic­tory

Fast food de­liv­ery ser­vice wins land­mark le­gal case over work­ers

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By James Tit­comb

DE­LIV­EROO has won a ma­jor le­gal vic­tory in a union bat­tle over its driv­ers’ em­ploy­ment sta­tus, in what will be seen as a boost for the coun­try’s “gig econ­omy”.

The Cen­tral Ar­bi­tra­tion Com­mit­tee (CAC) ruled that the food de­liv­ery app’s couri­ers are self-em­ployed, rather than work­ers, dis­miss­ing a chal­lenge from the In­de­pen­dent Work­ers of Great Bri­tain (IWGB) union.

De­liv­eroo had ar­gued that if rid­ers were classed as work­ers, they would lose the flex­i­bil­ity to pick up or­ders as they wished and be paid by the de­liv­ery, rather than work­ing in shifts.

The de­ci­sion comes just days af­ter Uber lost a key ap­peal over its driv­ers’ work­ing rights.

The IWGB had sought to have De­liv­eroo driv­ers in Cam­den and Ken­tish Town recog­nised as work­ers, which would have granted them rights such as the min­i­mum wage and sick pay, as well as al­low­ing them to unionise.

While the case only cov­ered a small area, it was seen as a test case for De­liv­eroo rid­ers and the UK’s wider gig econ­omy.

How­ever, the CAC de­clared that since driv­ers have the abil­ity to “sub­sti­tute” – al­low other rid­ers to take their place on a job – they can­not be classed as work­ers.

“We find the sub­sti­tu­tion right to be gen­uine, in the sense that De­liv­eroo have de­cided in [a new con­tract] that rid­ers have a right to sub­sti­tute them­selves both be­fore and af­ter they have ac­cepted a par­tic­u­lar job; and we have also heard ev­i­dence, that we ac­cepted, of it be­ing op­er­ated in prac­tice,” the CAC said.

“Since we have found that the rid­ers are not work­ers, we can­not ac­cept the union’s claim for recog­ni­tion and for rights to ne­go­ti­ate on pay, hours and hol­i­days with De­liv­eroo.”

The com­pany has pre­vi­ously ar­gued for changes to em­ploy­ment law that would al­low it to give rid­ers ben­e­fits while al­low­ing them to con­tinue work­ing when they choose.

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