We have some major news on the gig-economy and Deliveroo: A tribunal has set a date to decide the employment status of Deliveroo riders, a decision which will be as important if not more important than the Uber decision of some months back.

This will have major implications for both UK employment law and future decisions on the so-called gig-economy, as well as on Deliveroo’s business model.

Saying we are very confident that the tribunal will rule in our favour and determine the riders are workers is an understatement. Our press release is below.

Tribunal to determine Deliveroo riders’ employment status in May hearings 

The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC), the tribunal that oversees the regulation of UK collective bargaining law, will determine the employment status of Deliveroo riders, in what could turn out to be a landmark ruling for the so-called gig-economy with national implications for Deliveroo.

The tribunal will look at whether Deliveroo riders are workers or independent contractors, the status under which Deliveroo bogusly classes them currently, in hearings to take place on 24 and 25 May.

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is confident the tribunal will rule that the riders are workers, following on from similar decisions by the central London employment tribunal with regards to CitySprint couriers and Uber drivers.

The IWGB applied in November for the tribunal to determine the riders’ employment status and to force the company to recognise the union for the purposes of collective bargaining on behalf of riders working in the Camden area in London.

The CAC has informed the union that if the riders are ruled to be workers it will decide issues related to the bargaining unit in later hearings.

Leading trade union barrister John Hendy QC and Leigh Day are acting for the IWGB in the case.

For years employers in the so-called gig economy have been able to get away with unlawfully depriving their workers of employment rights to which they are legally entitled. The chickens are now coming home to roost,“ said IWGB General Secretary Jason Moyer-Lee. “In this tribunal hearing we intend to expose Deliveroo’s sham operations and force them to finally reckon with the rule of law.”

The union represents Deliveroo riders in London and Brighton, where there is an ongoing campaign to push the company to increase the “drop rate”, the amount each driver is paid per delivery, from £4 to £5.

The Brighton campaign has so far gathered support from the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Green Party Co-leader and Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas, as well as several branches of other trade unions and local Labour party branches.

A petition on Care2 asking the company to increase riders’ pay has also gathered around 25,000 signatures.

For more information:

Dr Jason Moyer-Lee, IWGB General Secretary