Deliveroo has agreed to pay a six-figure settlement to 50 of its disgruntled riders, who accused the company of unlawfully denying them legal employment rights, such as minimum wage and paid holiday.
The group, who were represented by law firm Leigh Day, argued that the company had tried to by-pass their rights by labelling them as self-employed contractors.
Annie Powell, a solicitor in the employment department of Leigh Day, said: “Deliveroo has paid out a material sum to settle these claims. In our view, this shows that Deliveroo knew that they were very likely to lose at the employment tribunal.”
“This settlement will make a real difference to our clients’ lives. Some of the riders we represented were on the breadline, earning hundreds and in some cases thousands of pounds below the national minimum wage over the time that they worked for Deliveroo.”
Deliveroo Unlikely to Change Model
Deliveroo welcomed the settlement ahead of the employment tribunal but did not admit liability. A spokesperson for the company said: “This settlement has no impact on Deliveroo riders or our model; and allows us to continue to focus on creating the well-paid, flexible work that our riders value. Courts have repeatedly considered Deliveroo’s model and judged that riders working with us are self-employed.”
Although there has been no indication that the company plans to reform how it treats its couriers, this is the first time that the company has made such a settlement. However, a source close to the company told Sky News said that the cost of the settlement was lower than the prospective legal costs to the company if the cases had run their course at the tribunal.
The case follows numerous high-profile employment rights case against Hermes, Uber, Addison Lee, City Sprint, Excel, eCourier and Pimlico Plumbers. In the case of Pimlico Plumbers, the Supreme Court ruled that a long-term contractor was entitled to benefits such as holiday pay.