Australia: Court rules Deliveroo driver an employee with a right to minimum wage
"Deliveroo loses landmark case as sacked driver ruled an employee", 18 May 2021
Deliveroo is facing the prospect of a wave of backpay claims after a tribunal ruled one of its contracted couriers was actually an employee with a right to an industry minimum wage.
The ruling poses a major challenge to the delivery giant’s reliance on classifying workers as “independent contractors” who have much more flexible hours but lack the protections employees have and are therefore generally cheaper to employ.
In a statement, Deliveroo said it planned to appeal. “We do not accept the premise upon which the decision was taken and do not believe this reflects how Deliveroo riders work with the company in practice,” a spokeswoman said.
Another firm, Menulog, is trialling hiring employees directly under an award that pays casuals $24.80 an hour during regular hours, rising to $34.72 on Sundays. That is much more than the $23.40 Deliveroo says it pays riders on average, taking into account “time spent waiting for orders”.
A spokeswoman for Deliveroo said the figures did not take into account the income couriers earned from being on multiple apps at once and would be higher at peak times.