Fifty Deliveroo drivers have won a six figure settlement over employment rights and pay. The couriers claimed they had been unlawfully denied rights including the national minimum wage and holiday pay.
The British online food delivery company allegedly punished couriers for low attendance and performance levels. The couriers were disciplined through dismissals and warnings. Deliveroo would also reduce the drivers working hours as a punishment. The drivers are required to work a minimum of two weekend shifts every week and they have to wear Deliveroo’s uniform throughout their shift.
The drivers are their contracts would be terminated if their performance didn’t improve. Each week, the couriers would be provided with statistics of their performance and Deliveroo would track their shift movements on GPS.
It is reported one driver was allegedly paid £538.14 below the national minimum wage in his first eight weeks of employment with Deliveroo. Another courier claimed he was underpaid by £2,541.31 for just over a year.
Law firm Leigh Day, who represented the courier’s, argued they should be classified as workers rather than independent, self-employed contractors. Being self-employed prevents an individual from having access to employment rights such as holiday pay and the national minimum wage.
Annie Powell, solicitor at Leigh Day, stated: “At the moment, a company like Deliveroo can falsely label their employees as independent contractors, deny them employment rights and protections, pay them below the minimum wage, and then force those workers to take legal action to obtain what they were entitled to from the beginning”.
It is reported there are also thousands of other riders who haven’t yet received compensation from Deliveroo.
“We are calling on Deliveroo to change their practices now, to ensure that riders are paid at least the minimum wage and receive holiday pay” added Powell.
A spokesperson for Deliveroo announced: “This settlement has no impact on Deliveroo riders or our model; and allows us to continue to focus on creating the well-paid, flexible work that our rider’s value. Courts have repeatedly considered Deliveroo’s model and judged that riders working with us are self-employed”.
The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) ruled that Deliveroo workers should be classified as self-employed in November 2017. This meant they weren’t entitled to employment rights or couldn’t be represented by a trade union. However, the High Court overturned a previous decision earlier this month, ruling that trade union Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) had permission to launch a full judicial review of the workers’ rights to collective bargaining against Deliveroo.
The amount paid in compensation has not been revealed, but the Guardian reported that it was six-figure sum.
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