Hot on the heels of the recent Uber Employment Tribunal judgment on the issue of worker status which ruled in favour of the workers, we now learn that food courier firm Deliveroo is now facing a challenge.
Deliveroo operates in the gig economy and provides a delivery service on behalf of thousands of restaurants and take away outlets across the country. They class their 8000 riders in the UK as self-employed independent contractors.
The reality for many of these drivers is that they earn £3.75 per delivery and sometimes it is not that busy meaning that they are available for work but can end up earning very little.
Similarly to the Uber drivers their status as self-employed independent contractors means that they are denied basic employment rights. These include the national minimum/living wage, holiday pay, statutory sick pay and the right to join a company pension scheme.
The latest challenge on the subject of worker status is different in that Deliveroo drivers based in Camden in North London have enlisted the help of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB).
The drivers with the help of the IWGB wish to gain trade union recognition and a letter has been issued to Deliveroo by the IWGB requesting recognition so that they can bargain on behalf of the drivers.
It is anticipated that Deliveroo will not willingly agree to the request for the IWGB to have recognition and as such this will result in the matter being determined by the Employment Tribunal who will then be asked to determine the issue of worker status for these drivers.
It will be interesting to see how this latest challenge develops and whether it encourages others to question their status.
Uber have already confirmed that it will be appealing the recent Employment Tribunal judgment and if they are unsuccessful then we are looking at a legal precedent being set which will be binding across the gig economy.