Deliveroo has been criticised by more than 40 MPs for not providing their riders will PPE, calling on the company to do more to protect its riders putting themselves at risk.
A letter has been penned by dozens of MPs across multiple parties for the delivery giant to provide all its riders with PPE and “full pay” for those who contract the disease and need to self-isolate.
Deliveroo has set up a coronavirus emergency fund which currently pays its riders who need to self-isolate £100 a week, however the MPs said this was “simply not enough” and forced many riders to keep working, putting fellow couriers and customers at risk.
At risk drivers with underlying health conditions should also be able to self-isolate for 12 weeks with full pay, and all drivers should be tested regularly, the MPs said.
The letter goes on to argue that as key workers, Deliveroo drivers should be paid the “real living wage”, running costs, holiday pay and sick pay.
Despite a rise in demand for home deliveries, Deliveroo has been struggling financially and announced earlier this month that it had been forced to slash 15 per cent of its work force.
Weeks earlier Amazon’s £400 million investment in the company was approved by the CMA, citing fears that without the cash injection Deliveroo could collapse.
In response to the letter, Deliveroo told TechCrunch that it strongly rejected claims it has not provided its riders with adequate PPE.
“At Deliveroo, riders are at the heart of everything we do and we are working hard to support them during this unprecedented time,” it said.
“This includes distributing PPE kit to riders across the UK, supporting riders financially if they are unwell and keeping riders safe through contact-free delivery.
“We are incredibly grateful and proud of the vital role riders are playing in their communities, helping the public, including the vulnerable and isolated, receive the food they need and want. We have dedicated teams on hand to support riders every step of the way through this crisis.”
The MPs said have branded its current opt-in system for providing PPE “inadequate and ineffective”, with many riders who request equipment waiting more than two weeks to receive it.
According to Deliveroo it has ordered 135,000 masks and 145,000 bottles of hand sanitiser for its riders and it has reimbursed all riders “up to £20” for PPE they’ve bought themselves, though no figures about how much had been distributed were released.
The company added that the £100 a week it pays its self-isolating riders is more than the statutory sick pay paid to employees.