Deliveroo drivers not workers but self-employed


In the long running saga of whether individuals are genuinely self-employed or workers, Deliveroo drivers have lost their judicial challenge against an earlier ruling that they were not workers. They therefore have no right to collective bargaining arrangements.

Delivery riders for Deliveroo, an app-based food delivery service, are engaged following a process that involves an application form, a telephone interview, and a criminal records check (paid for by Deliveroo). They supply their own transportation and smartphone, and pay £150 for an ‘equipment pack’, which includes branded equipment and clothing. Work is organised by way of a smartphone app, in which the rider can mark him or herself as available or unavailable, and can choose which jobs to accept. The riders work under non-negotiable ‘supplier agreements’ with Deliveroo, which describe them as independent contractors and state that there is no obligation on Deliveroo to provide work and no obligation on the rider to be available at any time or to accept jobs. The agreements also allow riders to provide a substitute, who may be employed or engaged directly by the rider, without need for approval by Deliveroo.

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