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A tribunal hearing over whether people working for the food courier firm Deliveroo should have rights such as the minimum wage and holiday pay has begun.
The tribunal brought by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain will look at whether Deliveroo riders are workers or independent contractors. If they are classified as workers, they will be entitled to certain rights, including collective bargaining on issues such as pay and conditions.
Deliveroo are the latest ‘gig economy’ employer being taken to tribunal to determine the correct classification of their riders.
The union says it is confident the tribunal will rule that the riders are workers, following on from similar decisions by the central London employment tribunal with regard to CitySprint couriers and Uber drivers.
HR expert Peninsula says it experienced a 64% increase in advice requests regarding employment status from small business owners between 2014 and 2016.
It states: “This is another significant case for the gig economy; Deliveroo’s working practices and their contractual terms will be scrutinised over the next three days to assess how they treat their riders in practice. Another decision in favour of workers is likely to result in Deliveroo facing further claims for back pay and holiday pay whilst, going forwards, they would need to review their pay practices and provide other worker rights such as a workplace pension.
“Union recognition will create a turning point in ‘gig economy’ employment as working conditions such as payment terms, rest breaks and working time can be negotiated for the workforce at large. It will also enable gig economy workers to consider strike action as a tool for negotiation – arguably putting them in a stronger position than many view they currently are.”