Deliveroo riders lose court battle for collective bargaining rights

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Deliveroo riders lose court battle for collective bargaining rights
A union representing a group of Deliveroo riders has lost a High Court battle over whether they are entitled to collective bargaining rights, in the latest ruling on the gig economy.

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) argued that delivery drivers should be entitled to representation over issues such as their pay, hours and holiday.

Last year the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) ruled that though there was support from riders for representation through the IWGB, a collective bargaining unit could not be formed as the drivers were classed as self-employed.

The IWGB claimed that denying this to Deliveroo riders breached their human rights.

But the High Court ruled today (5 December) that riders are self-employed, and therefore cannot collectively bargain as a group.

It held that drivers are not in an ‘employment relationship’, for the purposes of European law.

The IWGB called the ruling ‘terrible’ and says it intends to appeal the decision.

“Deliveroo riders should be entitled to basic worker rights as well as to the ability to be represented by trade unions to negotiate pay and terms and conditions,” says Dr Jason Moyer-Lee, IWGB general secretary.

“The IWGB will appeal this decision and continue to fight for these rights until we are victorious”.

Deliveroo welcomed the judgement and says classing riders as self-employed provided many with ‘the flexibility they want’.

“We will continue to seek to offer riders more security and make the case that Government should end the trade off in Britain between flexibility and security," says Dan Warne, Deliveroo UK MD.

The ruling comes amid growing scrutiny over the status of gig economy workers. Uber is awaiting the result of its attempt to overturn an employment tribunal ruling that its drivers should be classified as workers with the right to the minimum wage.

Related topics: Legislation

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