Deliveroo workers win “gig economy” court case

Following several high profile court cases relating to the gig economy, Deliveroo is the latest company to be involved in a court case against its workers. The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has just won the next stage in its high court battle with the company after complaints from their workers. Mrs Justice Simler recently gave permission for a judicial review of the company’s decision that had confirmed that the group of workers were self employed.

The IWGB’s application to represent the workers in court was initially rejected by the body that deals with union cases. However, the decision by the High Court has made the decision that, based on Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights -the right to freedom of assembly and association, the workers have the right to employment status and rights.

General secretary of IWGB, Dr Jason Moyer-Lee, noted that this case is a “matter of fundamental human rights”. He added: “Deliveroo should take a serious look at itself and ask itself whether it really wants to save a bit of money at the expense of the Human Rights of the individuals who make their business a success.”

Simon McVicker, director of policy at the Association of Independent Professionals, said: “The fact that this decision comes only months after the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) ruled in favour of Deliveroo emphasises the uncertainty and makes the need for a statutory definition of self-employment crystal clear.

“It is unacceptable that policymakers are relying on costly, time-consuming court cases as the first port of call in determining employment status. IPSE has long asserted that there is a fundamental lack of clarity about what does and doesn’t constitute self-employment. This confusion hurts both the self-employed and those looking to engage them.”

A spokesperson for Deliveroo said: “Today’s decision has clearly upheld the central finding of the CAC, which is that Deliveroo riders are self-employed. Deliveroo has long argued that the self-employed should have access to greater protections, and we welcome any debate on how that can best be achieved.”

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