Deliveroo settles employment rights case

The takeaway delivery service will pay out a six-figure sum to 50 of its riders.

Takeaway delivery company Deliveroo has settled a case brought forward by 50 of its couriers in the UK.

The couriers alleged that Deliveroo unlawfully failed to deliver on legal employment rights such as the legal minimum wage and paid holidays.

Deliveroo is reported to have agreed to the six-figure pay out in order to avoid a costly court battle. The case was due to be heard by an employment tribunal in mid-July.

“This settlement has no impact on Deliveroo riders or our model; and allows us to continue to focus on creating the well-paid, flexible work that our riders value. Courts have repeatedly considered Deliveroo’s model and judged that riders working with us are self-employed,” said a company spokesperson, speaking to The Guardian.

“Deliveroo has paid out a material sum to settle these claims. In our view, this shows that Deliveroo knew that they were very likely to lose at the employment tribunal," said Anne Powell, a solicitor in the law firm representing the couriers.

“At the moment, a company like Deliveroo can falsely label their employees as independent contractors, deny them employment rights and protections, pay them below the minimum wage, and then force those workers to take legal action to obtain what they were entitled to from the beginning,” added Powell.

Recently, another UK company, Pimlico Plumbers, lost a similar gig economy case that had gone all the way to the country’s Supreme Court.

In that case, plumber Gary Smith – who had been solely employed by the company for more than five years – successfully charged that he was not a contractor, but an employee entitled to holiday pay.

 

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