Battle of the workers – Deliveroo ruling shakes up the gig economy
Deliveroo riders have been told by the Central Arbitration Committee that they are not workers and therefore are not entitled to benefit from sick pay, minimum wage or union recognition.
The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain brought a claim against Deliveroo on behalf of riders in two North London districts.
In a Judgment, which departs from the Uber and Addison Lee Judgments, it was noted that the Deliveroo riders are not obliged to personally perform the service themselves. The riders “are free to substitute at will” and this was “fatal to the Union’s claim”. Once the Central Arbitration Committee had established this point, it was said to be unnecessary to look further into the contractual relationship between Deliveroo and its riders. Any other issues were insufficient to compensate the riders, in light of the substitution rights.
It will be interesting to see how this development affects Addison Lee’s and Uber’s workforce. It may be that companies look to implement a right of substitution so that they can treat those who work as self employed and escape the protection afforded to workers.