Deliveroo proposes employment laws overhaul to let it give riders benefits


Deliveroo has called for the Government to overhaul workers’ rights legislation to allow it to give its delivery riders benefits without the conditions that would be attached to counting them as employees.

The takeaway app said that companies are currently forced to choose between offering workers flexible work and entitlements such as sick pay and maternity leave because the law had not been “updated” to reflect new ways of working, reports the Telegraph.

It wants ministers to create a new category of working that would let the company give riders benefits without forcing it to categorise them as workers, which would mean offering them pre-arranged shifts instead of allowing them to choose jobs as they please.

Deliveroo, an emblem of the “gig economy” in which takeaway couriers are summoned via a smartphone app, has been criticised for labelling them as self-employed, meaning they are not guaranteed the minimum wage and Deliveroo does not pay national insurance on their earnings.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph today, its founder Will Shu says: “We want to combine full flexibility with real security ­ and we are calling for the law to be updated so we are able to offer both. We strongly believe this is not a zero-­sum game.”

The company’s submission to an official review into employment rights led by Matthew Taylor, Tony Blair’s former policy chief, says current employment law is out of date with the changing nature of work.

It suggests that the Government either allow companies to offer entitlements to self-employed people or create a new category of employment in which benefits are calculated on the services they deliver instead of than how many hours they work.

Deliveroo, which is currently fighting a legal battle against a union that claims they should be treated as workers, pays the majority of its riders by the job instead of an hourly rate.

It says many often work for different delivery companies at the same time, clouding the question of who should be responsible for them, and that riders enjoy the freedom of not being assigned shifts. It says providing benefits under the current laws would “put the flexibility that our riders cherish at risk”.