Following on from my colleague Martin Malone’s article back in March, takeaway delivery Company Deliveroo have now removed the clause in their self-employed courier’s contracts (or ‘supplier agreements’), which stated that the couriers would not be permitted to challenge their self-employed status at an Employment Tribunal.
New contracts (which are now just four pages long) have been distributed to the couriers, and confirm that they can work for other businesses and no longer need to provide two weeks’ notice to terminate their contract with Deliveroo.
Dan Warne, Deliveroo UK MD, provided the couriers with a letter by way of further explanation, which stated the following:
“We know that many riders work with other companies as well as Deliveroo, including our competitors. That is fine with us: 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, but please make sure that whatever you wear while riding means that you are safe and visible to other road users.
“This new simple supplier agreement for riders makes it easier than ever to work with Deliveroo. It makes clear that our riders are able to log in to work with us whenever they want – allowing them to fit their work around their life rather than their life around their work.”
The changes have been made following criticism from the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee, who advised that companies such as Deliveroo, Amazon and Uber, deprived workers of their rights with the wording of the contracts previously utilised.
The distribution of the new contracts also came less than a day after the leak of Labour’s draft manifesto, which contained a proposal for the ‘gig economy’ to assume workers are employees unless proven to the contrary.
Deliveroo are having a turbulent time of late, as a hearing is also due to commence at the Central Arbitration Committee later this month, with couriers looking for the Company to recognise both their trade union and collective bargaining rights. If the couriers are successful, there is an argument that Deliveroo would need to start treating them as employed workers.
Please contact Katharine Kelly on 0151 239 1079 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you require advice in respect of Employment status.