Takeaway delivery organisation Deliveroo is to face legal action over the entitlement of its riders to employment rights such as holiday pay and the minimum wage.
The legal action argues that riders are not contractors and that they should be entitled to employment rights, such as the national minimum wage and holiday pay, which they do not receive as self-employed contractors.
Approximately 200 riders to date have joined the claim against Deliveroo, which is being led by law firm Leigh Day. The first group of 20 riders has started the process of bringing a claim by contacting employment dispute public body Acas.
The legal action will contend that riders are required to wear a Deliveroo-branded uniform and use a Deliveroo-branded box when performing their job, that they are given specific instructions about how and where they work, are subject to performance reviews, and have their terms and rate of pay determined by Deliveroo. The legal claims will therefore argue that riders are not self-employed contractors, and should instead be entitled to employment rights and protections.
The legal action will also feature age discrimination claims for riders aged under 18 who were dismissed after Deliveroo introduced a new minimum age requirement.
Annie Powell, lawyer in the employment team at Leigh Day, said: “The idea that Deliveroo riders are self-employed contractors in business on their own account and that Deliveroo is a customer of each rider’s business is absurd.
“Deliveroo riders carry out the sole function of Deliveroo, to deliver food and drink to customers, and are tightly controlled by Deliveroo in what is clearly a dependent work relationship. We will argue that Deliveroo has no reasonable ground to argue that its riders are self-employed contractors and that it should immediately ensure that its riders are paid at least the national minimum wage and receive paid holiday.
“We will also argue that Deliveroo’s dismissal of young riders who do not meet Deliveroo’s new minimum age requirement is a clear case of unlawful age discrimination for which the riders should be compensated.”
A spokesperson at Deliveroo added: “We are proud to offer flexible, well-paid work to over 15,000 self-employed UK riders, and receive over 10,000 new applications every week. Riders choose when and where to ride with us, and for how long, giving them the flexibility and freedom to work with us around their other commitments such as studying, running a small business or working for another [organisation]. We will continue to work closely with our riders to ensure that as the [organisation] continues to grow in the UK, our riders continue to benefit from that growth.”
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