UK: Deliveroo riders are self-employed contractors without minimum wage rights, tribunal rules

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10 December 2018

UK: Deliveroo riders lose high court battle to gain union recognition

Author: Sarah Butler, The Guardian

5 Dec 2018

Deliveroo riders have lost a high court battle to gain union recognition, in a blow to gig economy campaigners...

In November last year the Central Arbitration Committee, which considers union recognition and collective bargaining cases, rejected an application by the IWGB to represent Deliveroo riders in north London...

In the judicial review of that ruling, the union claimed that not allowing collective bargaining breached the rights of Deliveroo riders under the European convention on human rights...

However, on Wednesday, the high court ruled that the riders’ human rights had not been breached and that the riders were not in an “employment relationship” in the context of European human rights law.

The IWGB general secretary, Jason Moyer-Lee, said the union would appeal against the high court ruling...

Deliveroo welcomed the judgment, which it said was “a victory for riders who have consistently told us the flexibility to choose when and where they work, which comes with self-employment, is their number one reason for riding with Deliveroo”...

[T]he UK managing director of Deliveroo, said: “We will continue to seek to offer riders more security and make the case that government should end the trade-off in Britain between flexibility and security.”

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19 November 2018

UK: Deliveroo riders denied rights to collective bargaining, union says in high court challenge over employment status of drivers

Author: The Guardian

"Deliveroo riders denied rights to collective bargaining, court told", 14 Nov 2018

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is attempting to overturn a ruling which found that the company’s riders are not entitled to collective bargaining rights because they are “self-employed”...

But, at a hearing in London on Wednesday, John Hendy QC said the CAC [Central Arbitration Committee] failed to address the IWGB’s argument that the law which defines a “worker” must be interpreted in a way that gives effect to riders’ rights to collective bargaining under article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights...

[T]he substitution clause in Deliveroo’s contracts should not preclude riders from the right to collective bargaining...

In written submissions, Christopher Jeans QC, for Deliveroo, said the IWGB’s argument on article 11 was “an afterthought” before the CAC, which “nonetheless expressly considered the belated article 11 submission and did not accept it”.

He added... “[T]he riders did not have the specific right to collective bargaining”, which only applied to those in an employment relationship, and therefore there could be no interference with that right.

Jeans concluded that the IWGB’s contention that riders with no obligation to work, and who can appoint someone else to do any item of work and work with a competitor, had the right to bargain collectively was “extraordinary”.

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22 June 2018

UK: High Court allows judicial review of decision on employment rights of Deliveroo riders

Author: Sarah Butler, The Guardian

"Union wins first round in Deliveroo high court employment challenge", 15 June 2018

A union has been given the go-ahead for a high court challenge over the employment rights of Deliveroo riders in another step forward for gig economy workers. The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) wants the court to overturn a ruling that confirmed the self-employed status of those working for the delivery firm...The union said that, as independent contractors, the riders were denied basic employment rights including a guaranteed minimum wage and holiday pay...Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary of the IWGB, said: "This is no longer just an employment rights issues, this is a human rights matter. It is now time to proceed with our high court challenge and wipe that smug smirk off Deliveroo's face."...“Companies like Deliveroo and others have built their success on an exploitative business model, denying worker’s their rights and swerving their obligations under the law,” she said.

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20 November 2017

Commentary: Deliveroo riders aren't workers, says London tribunal

Author: Rebecca Prentice, Culture and Capitalism

[A] London tribunal has ruled that Deliveroo riders are self-employed contractors, not ‘workers.’ This means that the riders do not have basic rights to minimum wage, holiday pay, and health and safety protections. They also have no right to unionise... [W]hen the CAC convened in May and June 2017 to hear the petition for trade union recognition, two things had to be determined:

  • First, are Deliveroo riders actually workers?
  • And second, if they are workers, does the IWGB have large enough support among the Camden riders to collectively bargain on their behalf?

For many observers and labour rights analysts, the answer to the first question was clearly ‘yes’... But in the weeks leading up to the trial, Deliveroo’s contracts with the riders were changed... [R]iders were explicitly allowed to use a ‘substitute’ [...] to make deliveries on their behalf without seeking Deliveroo’s permission... This ability to transfer work to another person conflicts with the definition of ‘worker’ in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992... Sadly, for now, the second question has been lost...: did the IWGB have enough support among the Camden riders to be recognised as their union? On this issue, the CAC said yes... [P]olicymakers are starting to rethink old categories like ‘worker’ and ‘contractor’...

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19 November 2017

Gig economy ruling has Deliveroo riders without rights and buying their own kit

Author: Anna Tims

Last week, a tribunal ruled that Deliveroo riders in north London were not entitled to basic employment rights because they are not “workers”. The case was brought in May by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) to force the firm to accept the collective bargaining rights of its members. But in its ruling, the Central Arbitration Committee, which oversees collective bargaining law, concluded that Deliveroo couriers are self-employed because they have a right to ask a substitute to perform a job for them. By law, anyone with the right to do this is classed as self-employed, and self-employed workers aren’t entitled to collective bargaining rights... The 21st-century phenomenon of the “gig economy” has, critics claim, undone a century of progress and reintroduced sweatshop conditions. The IWGB had hoped that a tribunal ruling forcing Deliveroo to recognise union membership, would haul it into the new millennium.

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14 November 2017

Deliveroo wins right not to give riders minimum wage or holiday pay

Author: Sarah Butler, The Guardian (UK)

Deliveroo won the right not to give its couriers the minimum wage or holiday pay on Tuesday... In a key legal ruling the Central Arbitration Committee [...] said the food delivery firm’s riders were self-employed contractors as they had the right to allocate a substitute to do the work for them... The union can take the decision to judicial review, but it is still considering its position... [T]he managing director for Deliveroo in the UK and Ireland, said: “This is a victory for all riders who have continuously told us that flexibility is what they value most about working with Deliveroo.” He said the company wanted employment law to be changed so Deliveroo could offer injury pay and sick pay while maintaining flexibility... At the CAC tribunal in May, it emerged that Deliveroo had recently made a series of changes to its contracts, including allowing riders to bring in someone to cover their work. Being unable to send someone else to do your work is a key definition of a worker, an employment classification that carries the right to the national minimum wage, union recognition and holiday pay.

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