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5 Jan 2021

Italy: Court rules against Deliveroo's rider algorithm, citing discrimination

In January 2021, an Italian court ruled against Deliveroo's rider-ranking algorithm, citing discrimination. The algorithm was used to determine the "reliability" of a rider. If the rider failed to cancel a pre-scheduled shift at least 24 hours in advance, the algorithm would begin to downgrade the rider, impacting their ability to gain future shifts. The Court found the algorithm to violate local labour laws because it did not distinguish between legally protected reasons for withholding labour, such as sickness, emergency, or exercising their protected right to strike, versus unprotected reasons for failing to be available.

The case was brought by a group of riders, backed by the Italian General Confederation of Labour (IGCL). In a statement, the IGCL called the Bologna court ruling a "turning point" in trade unions and worker rights in the digital economy. The court ordered Deliveroo to pay €50,000 to the claimants.

In response to the ruling, Deliveroo representatives noted the company does not agree with the ruling and confirmed the shift-ranking system linked to the algorithm is no longer in use in the market.