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Deliveroo urges government to back self-employed people

Deliveroo has called for the creation of a new Charter which would allow ‘gig economy’ companies to provide benefits to riders without compromising their self-employment status.

This is in response to the government’s consultation on the issue of employment status, which ran from 7 February to 1 June 2018 and examined the modern labour market.

The delivery app company said the government should look to the French Assembly where legislators are taking steps to end the current trade-off between flexibility and security for the self-employed.

Deliveroo has called on the government to introduce a ‘Charter for secure flexible work’ which would allow on-demand companies to provide self-employed workers in the on-demand economy extra security and benefits, without the risk of this affecting their self-employment status.

Last November, Deliveroo riders were confirmed as self-employed by the Central Arbitration Committee. The company said it was giving all of its 35,000 riders free insurance while saying it wanted to go further in the benefits and protection it offered, but said it was constrained as legislation means this could lead to their employment status being reclassified.

Deliveroo is currently facing an investigation led by Frank Field MP, the Labour chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, over its working conditions. A union for ‘gig workers’, the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), has been collecting evidence from its members for five weeks and the inquiry is set to conclude on 24 July.

In June, Deliveroo paid a six-figure compensation sum to 50 of its workers who said they were denied employment rights.

Deliveroo CEO and founder, Will Shu, said: “Five years ago I completed the first order for Deliveroo. I still make deliveries to this day, so I know how important it is that riders are given the security they deserve. I’m proud that Deliveroo has led the way in the on-demand economy by giving riders greater protection whilst they’re out delivering amazing food. But we want to go further.

“That’s why we’re calling on the government to allow companies like Deliveroo to offer riders more security without putting at risk the flexibility they value. Ending the trade off between flexibility and security will help ensure the UK’s on-demand economy is fit for the future and benefits businesses, consumers and riders alike.”

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