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Deliveroo wins case for self-employment

Following on from our recent post on the Tribunal ruling on the Uber case, Deliveroo has since won its case at the tribunal.

The case was brought by IWGB after asking Deliveroo to recognise it as a union and to start collective bargaining over workers’ rights. Deliveroo refused which led to this test case.

In this case and in contradiction of the Uber decision, the Tribunal ruled that Riders for Deliveroo were in fact ‘self-employed’. The key difference in reaching this decision was that Deliveroo allowed Riders to substitute other Riders to take their place on jobs.

It was widely expected following the Uber case that a similar ruling would be made however this now means that whilst Uber Drivers would now be entitled to the National Minimum Wage and paid holiday, Deliveroo Riders are still considered ‘self-employed’ and are therefore not entitled to such rights.

It therefore seems that this case is of particular importance to the gig economy because it highlights the difference that one contractual change can make. It’s likely that similar companies will now be reviewing contracts to increase the likelihood of individuals being classified as ‘self-employed’ rather than ‘workers’ or ‘employees’.

Whilst those representing gig economy companies will be pleased about the ruling, the case still calls into question whether companies such as Deliveroo should be providing individuals with minimum entitlements such as the national minimum wage. The ruling will also be a significant blow to unions who have been trying to increase membership within the gig economy. Again, this ruling highlights the importance of clarifying employment status and calls for a simplification of the law surrounding this.