• British food delivery startup Deliveroo has won an important legal victory in the UK over whether its delivery drivers are self-employed, or workers entitled to certain rights.
  • A UK tribunal ruled in Deliveroo’s favour, and against the IWGB union which represents Deliveroo riders and other gig economy workers.
  • The tribunal found that because Deliveroo riders can swap jobs with other people, they can’t be counted as “workers.”
  • Deliveroo argued that changing its riders’ employment status would make the job of food delivery less flexible, and less attractive.

Food delivery startup Deliveroo has won an important legal victory after a UK tribunal ruled that its delivery riders are self-employed, not workers entitled to rights such as minimum wage.

The Central Arbitration Committee in London dismissed a claim on Tuesday from the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) union that its riders were workers.

The case is a slightly convoluted one: The IWGB is a newly formed organisation that represents workers from the precarious gig economy, including some Deliveroo drivers. It went to the CAC in March to gain recognition as a union.

An initial step was determining whether the Deliveroo riders it represented in Camden and Kentish Town were workers or self-employed. Had the IWGB won this case, it wouldn’t have automatically meant workers’ rights for Deliveroo riders, who would still have needed to file a separate claim.

The CAC’s decision rested on the issue of substitution, where Deliveroo riders are allowed to drop out of jobs provided they find a replacement rider. That meant they can’t be classified as workers.

The CAC said in its judgement: “The central and insuperable difficulty for the Union is that we find that the substitution right to be genuine, in the sense that Deliveroo have decided in [its new contract] that Riders have a right to substitute themselves both Read More Here