A report released today concluding a five-week investigation by MP Frank Field has found that some Deliveroo drivers are earning as little as £2 per hour.
The MP demanded that Deliveroo riders were paid the minimum wage of £7.83 per hour, Field’s report said that the company kept an oversupply of workers, with the MP comparing Deliveroo’s practices to dockyard work in the 20th Century, where workers queuing for low-paid work were often turned away.
Deliveroo denies deliberately keeping an oversupply of workers and says that on average riders earn £10 per hour.
The new report found that while some riders liked the Deliveroo model, others were treated “very poorly”. The MP said that the company had filled the streets with riders, paying most per delivery rather than per hour.
Field told ITV News: “It’s clear from my report that company exploits some of its riders, we just don’t know how many. They don’t conform with paying National Minimum Wage when they want riders to sign on for work. I really hope the government will look at this issue.”
In a statement issued today Deliveroo said if it paid the National Living Wage then the company would no longer be able to provide workers with flexibility. A spokesman told Catering Today: “Deliveroo is proud to offer flexible well-paid work where riders on average earn well over £10 an hour, well above the National Living Wage.
“In the modern economy people want to fit their work around their lives, not the other way round. This is why working with Deliveroo is so popular as it gives riders total flexibility. Riders choose how much they want to work and when, and are very clear they want to protect the flexibility that self-employment provides.
“Deliveroo believes more can be done to increase the security for riders while protecting their ability to be their own bosses, which is why we have introduced free, market-leading insurance for all, covering riders in case anything goes wrong.”
“But we want to go further, and have called on the Government to update employment rules to end the trade-off between flexibility and security and enable platforms to offer riders even more benefits without putting their employment status at risk.”
A statement in Field’s report read: “The emergence of platforms like Deliveroo has opened up the prospect of work to many people on the fringes of the labour market who would otherwise struggle to find a job that fits their circumstances. This represents a significant boost to the British economy as well as our society.
“[There] is a flipside: too many of these vulnerable workers have nowhere else to turn if their pay and working conditions deteriorate and their living standards begin to suffer. We call on platforms to consider urgently what additional forms of security they are able to offer such workers without asking them to sacrifice the flexibility they currently have in fitting this work around other commitments.”
Yesterday, the company called on the government to create a new ‘charter’ so that it could offer “greater protection” to riders.