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Deliveroo Couriers Look For Employment Rights Following Uber Victory

Irwin Mitchell Legal Expert Comments On Case


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

A group of Deliveroo couriers are set to take legal action if the high profile food delivery company reject their request for union recognition and employment rights.

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has sent a letter on behalf of riders in north London, asking Deliveroo for recognition for the union to bargain on their behalf.

Failure to respond within 10 days will result an application being submitted to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) asking it to declare that Deliveroo must engage with collective bargaining.

Jason Moyer-Lee, IWGB general secretary said: "What we're asking for is a collective bargaining agreement, and that means it's for the zone of Camden, but obviously this is just a test run and if we win this we can roll it out to other zones. And what that means is that Deliveroo would have to sit down and negotiate pay and terms and conditions with the union which would be acting on behalf of the workers."

The latest move comes after private hire firm Uber lost a legal battle in which two drivers successfully argued that they were employees rather than self-employed operators. The Tribunal ruled that Uber drivers were entitled to holiday pay, rest breaks and the National Living Wage.

Expert Opinion
"This is yet another case that will test the so-called 'gig economy' model of working.

"It is important to remember that the Uber case was a first instance decision. That means that it is not binding on future cases. Each case turns on its own facts and in the Uber decision, some parts of the judgment indicate that the tribunal was influenced by the huge size of the Uber undertaking.

"Views of the gig economy tend to fall into one of two camps. Some commentators believe it creates opportunities for individuals looking for lots of flexibility in their working lives. Others say it is an attack on protections for employees and that vulnerable workers are most at risk of what are seen as abusive practices.

"This is such an important debate that the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee has set up an inquiry to look at how we will work in the future and this will also cover issues concerning the gig economy."
Alan Lewis, Partner