Following protests by its workers, takeaway delivery company Deliveroo has announced it will withdraw plans to make staff take on new contracts, which would have seen them earning less than the National Living Wage.
Many workers said that the new deal could mean that they would earn less money and lose the security of an hourly rate.
Workers who have already signed the new contract terms have been informed that they will no longer be bound by it and that they can work under the previous pay arrangements and not have to take part in the new trial pay scheme. The trial scheme will pay £3.75 per delivery, rather than £7 per hour and £1 for each delivery.
Staff were originally told that they would have to sign new contract terms, or would not be able to continue working for the company. But after the week-long protests and strikes, Deliveroo said it would no longer be asking its couriers to change their contracts. It said that those who wanted to change areas would be able to work nearby.
Deliveroo arranges deliveries from restaurants to customers. They use self-employed cyclists and motorcyclists, who use their own vehicles and are not entitled to any holiday or sick pay.
Riders who wish to stick with the old agreement have been told to move over to a neighbouring delivery zone, two miles away.
While many riders welcomed the announcement, some were more cautious. There are still concerns that Deliveroo will just sign up new couriers on the new contracts, or introduce the new payment rate to other areas. Also, workers are concerned that moving to a new delivery area may result in them earning less money, as other areas may not be as busy, and they would be earning less on the £1-a-delivery commission.
The Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy stepped into the row and told Deliveroo that they must pay workers the national living wage of £7.20 an hour, unless a court or HM Revenue and Customs determines that the riders are self-employed.
The final decision on pay will be happen at the end of the trial scheme on 14 September. Around 280 from Deliveroo’s 3,000 London riders are taking part in the trial.