The finding, which has been described as a landmark decision, means that Deliveroo does not have to offer the riders the minimum wage or holiday pay, contrary to recent rulings against Uber and other courier companies that have deemed drivers are workers. Furthermore it means the riders are not entitled to union recognition.
At the hearing, the UK Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) which considers union recognition and collective bargaining rejected an application by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) to represent Deliveroo riders in parts of north London.
The CAC found that a majority of the riders in the bargaining unit would likely support union recognition for the IWGB, however contracts recently introduced by the company in advance of the tribunal hearing provide that the couriers can assign someone else to do the delivery for them. Because one of the key indicators of someone who is self-employed is that they have a right to ask a substitute to perform a job for them, the tribunal held that Deliveroo couriers are self-employed and not workers.
Deliveroo welcomed the decision of the committee saying their riders value the flexibility that self-employment provides and having the freedom to choose when and where they work, and riding with other delivery companies at the same time.
Access the full CAC decision here.
An individual doing paid work in the UK falls into one of three main categories: an employee, a worker or self-employed. The definition of 'employee' and 'worker' differs slightly from one area of legislation to another, but generally workers have fewer rights than employees.