The Daily Telegraph

Deliveroo in court over workers’ rights

- By Matthew Field

DELIVEROO is facing a Supreme Court challenge by an unofficial trade union amid a row over a deal between the food delivery company and the GMB union.

The court case is the latest step in a six-year legal battle with the Independen­t Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) union, which wants its Deliveroo riders to have the right to collective bargaining. In May, Deliveroo signed a deal with the GMB union, giving its freelance riders the right to bargain with the company over pay conditions. The deal covers its 90,000 riders.

But the London-listed food delivery company has spent years fighting the IWGB over whether its riders should have the right to unionise.

The IWGB argues Deliveroo’s voluntary deal with the GMB does not go far enough, ignoring rights such as sick pay, holiday or pensions typically covered by a union agreement. The IWGB first launched arbitratio­n proceeding­s on behalf of riders in Camden and Ken- tish Town against Deliveroo in 2016, arguing they should receive workers’ rights and be allowed to unionise.

Deliveroo riders are freelance couriers, who do not get holiday pay or other employee benefits. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that Uber drivers were workers and not self-employed, but the courts have so far ruled that Deliveroo couriers are not entitled to additional employment rights.

The IWGB’S claim has been defeated four times, but it has secured an appeal to the Supreme Court over whether Deliveroo riders have the right to collective bargaining.

The union said the company’s GMB deal “fails to address numerous problems with Deliveroo’s employment practices in proposed negotiatio­ns”.

A Deliveroo spokesman said: “UK courts have repeatedly found Deliveroo riders to be self-employed, which is the only status that offers riders the freedom and control they value.”

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