Deliveroo couriers are not employees, UK Court of Appeal agrees

Deliveroo has won the right to continue classifying its riders as self-employed, dismissing a union appeal against its courier’s employment status.

The UK Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) and the verdict in favour of self-employment was unanimous, with three judges all agreeing.

The Court found that past judgments were correct to reach the view that courts are not in an employment relationship with Deliveroo, with one of the judges describing the decision as “inevitable”.

READ MORE: Deliveroo riders will now be trained to spot female harassment and domestic abuse

The takeaway delivery service has been fighting the case since 2017, which was brought in by the IWGB, which represents people working for outsourcing contractors and gig economy workers.

This is the fourth court judgment in the UK which has determined that Deliveroo couriers are recognised as self-employed, following a judgment by the Central Arbitration Committee and two such judgments at the High Court.

This comes as Deliveroo reported a “huge influx” of people interested in working as riders during the Covid-19 pandemic, with up to 16,000 applications a week across the UK.

“Today is good news for Deliveroo riders and marks an important milestone. UK courts have now tested and upheld the self-employed status of Deliveroo riders four times,” A spokesperson for Deliveroo said.

“Our message to riders is clear. We will continue to back your right to work the way you want and we will continue to listen to you and respond to the things that matter to you most.

“Deliveroo’s model offers the genuine flexibility that is only compatible with self-employment, providing riders with the work they tell us they value.

“Those campaigning to remove riders’ flexibility do not speak for the vast majority of riders and seek to impose a way of working that riders do not want. Deliveroo will continue to campaign for companies like ours to be able to offer the full flexibility of self-employment along with greater benefits and more security.”

Deliveroo operates a different gig model compared to ride-hailing service, Uber, which failed to have its tax-drivers recognised as self-employed.



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