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The Central Arbitration Committee have ruled that Deliveroo riders are self-employed contractors, and not workers in a dispute about union recognition.
The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) had sought union recognition on behalf of Deliveroo riders. The CAC examined whether they should be classified as workers or self employed. It ruled that the riders had a genuine right to substitute another person to carry out their work for them before accepting a delivery and after accepting a particular delivery and that there was evidence this took place in reality. Therefore, it said, the riders could not be classed as workers.
Alan Price, Employment Law Director at HR expert Peninsula, said: “This ruling shows the need for careful drafting of substitution clauses and, in particular, the importance of operating in line with the contractual documents. Many other ‘gig economy’ employers, such as CitySprint, have failed at the substitution argument because they didn’t allow this to happen in practice and the contractual clause was a sham.
“This decision will be seen as a victory for Deliveroo as they will not have to provide worker rights to their riders, such as holiday pay or minimum wage. An employment status claim has already been lodged at the employment tribunal on behalf of 45 Deliveroo riders so this could, in theory, see a different result. There is likely, however, to be a strong argument that the tribunal should be persuaded by the CAC decision to reach the same outcome.”
There is no appeal process within the CAC. However, the IWGB could seek judicial review of the decision through the High Court.