Fast-food delivery giant Deliveroo has announced it is setting aside a £16 million ‘thank-you’ fund to reward its most loyal riders as part of its plans to float on the London Stock Exchange later this year.
The payments range from £200.00 (given to drivers who have been with the business for at least one year and have completed 2,000 orders), rising to £500, £1,000 and even £10,000 based on length of service and number of deliveries.
The awards – or local equivalents – will be made to the company’s ‘gig economy’ riders in the 12 markets in which it operates. According to its formula, Deliveroo claims the average payment drivers will receive will be £440. More than half of recipients will be those working the UK, some of whom began riding alongside CEO Will Shu when the company first launched.
But the bonuses being offered have already gained criticism from commentators such as the IWGB union, which have branded the move a “PR stunt” to take attention away from other worker-relations issues.
Deliveroo controversially regards its drivers as ‘self-employed contractors’ rather than workers – which means it avoids paying holiday, sick pay or other benefits. It is currently awaiting the outcome of a lengthy court case against it to decide whether this practice can continue, or whether it should be forced to define its drivers as ‘workers’ (as the recent Uber judgement maintained for its drivers).
Despite launching in 2013, Deliveroo has still to make a profit. But this has not stopped the company being expected to be valued at an estimated $7 billion (£5bn) when it floats at some point in 2021.
Since lockdown, however, its sales have risen by 62%.