LONDON May 12 British food courier firm
Deliveroo has removed a contract clause which banned its
self-employed riders from seeking workers' rights, according to
documents seen by Reuters, in the latest victory for unions and
politicians cracking down on the "gig economy."
With their distinctive black and teal jackets, Deliveroo
riders have become a familiar sight on London streets since the
firm started trading in 2013, tapping into the rapidly growing
demand for takeaway food delivered from restaurants.
But like taxi app Uber, which also operates in the
gig economy where people tend to work simultaneously for
different firms without a fixed contract, Deliveroo has been
criticised for not offering rights such as holiday and sick pay.
In its new contract, the firm removed a clause which
featured in some older agreements and read:
"Neither you nor anyone acting on your behalf will present
any claim in the Employment Tribunal or any civil court in which
it is contended that you are either an employee or a worker."
The stipulation was criticised by a British parliamentary
inquiry last month, which said the contracts used by a series of
burgeoning new apps were "unintelligible."
Deliveroo, which said in March it would remove the clause,
did not immediately respond to a request for comment when
contacted by Reuters on Friday.
Despite the clause, it faces an employment tribunal hearing
later this month where a union is seeking to represent the
firm's riders in an area of London in a push for workers'
rights, the latest bid to regulate the sector.
Last year, it started paying riders per delivery rather than
per hour, which sparked opposition from some of its riders,
forcing it to say they could opt out of the new system, although
the trials are continuing in some places.
Deliveroo's new contract has also been cut by nearly half to
four pages and removed the need for riders to provide a two-week
notice period before quitting the firm.
In an email sent to riders, the firm's UK and Ireland
Managing Director Dan Ware also made clear they could work for
"As an independent contractor you are free to work with
whoever you choose and wear whatever kit you want. There
continues to be no requirement to wear Deliveroo-branded kit
while you work with us," he said.
A previous contract said riders not wearing a
Deliveroo-branded T-shirt must wear the firm's jacket and
restricted the use of the box fitted to the back of bikes,
making it difficult for drivers to accept multiple jobs from
(Editing by Stephen Addison)