DJM employment specialist says explosion of “gig economy” makes Deliveroo employment case one to watch

Author: Douglas-Jones Mercer.

Date: November 4th 2016

Coming hot on the heels of the recent Uber case , today’s Independent reports that Deliveroo drivers are the latest so-called “gig economy” workers to demand union recognition and the minimum wage. Our employment law specialist Aaron Hayward is quoted in the article, commenting on the legal significance of Deliveroo drivers’ bid to earn union recognition and employment rights such as holiday pay and minimum wage earnings. You can read the article here.

Aaron said:

“It’s no surprise that Deliveroo couriers are taking legal steps to gain union recognition and workers’ rights, after the recent Uber case in which two drivers successfully argued that they should be classified as employees as opposed to contractors.

“The explosion of the gig economy means many thousands of workers across the UK are now engaged in temporary, casual work that doesn’t entitle them to paid holiday, minimum wage and other rights, because they are officially classified as “contractors”.

“Next week Deliveroo drivers in Camden will carry out a final push to get over 50% of drivers signed up to the IWGB unions, which will force formal union recognition from their employer. If they succeed, this will make it the first app-based employer to recognise a union in the UK. This will bring with it the potential of collective bargaining over pay and conditions, but first they must succeed in convincing a tribunal that drivers should be reclassified as employees as opposed to contractors as collective bargaining laws only apply to employees.

“This is an employment case that employers, workers and lawyers alike will be watching with interest. As we move more towards a “gig economy” based on short-term, software-driven casual work, this issue isn’t going to away anytime soon.”

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