Home » Deliveroo riders not entitled to collective bargaining, top UK court rules

Deliveroo riders not entitled to collective bargaining, top UK court rules

A Deliveroo delivery rider pushes a bicycle in London, Britain, March 31, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

LONDON, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Food delivery firm Deliveroo’s (ROO.L) riders cannot be represented by a trade union for the purposes of collective bargaining, the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday.

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) had tried to represent a group of Deliveroo riders in order to negotiate pay and conditions with the company.

The union was first refused permission in 2017 on the basis that riders were not “workers” under UK labour law and it has since mounted a number of appeals.

The IWGB took its case to the UK’s highest court in April, arguing that it was an unlawful interference with riders’ human rights to deny the IWGB’s application to be recognised by Deliveroo for collective bargaining.

But the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the IWGB’s appeal in a ruling on Tuesday.

Announcing the court’s decision, Judge Vivien Rose said Deliveroo riders do not have an “employment relationship” with Deliveroo and were not entitled to compulsory collective bargaining.

The Supreme Court said in its written ruling that Deliveroo riders could appoint a substitute to undertake a delivery, can work for competitors, do not have to work specific hours or even carry out any deliveries at all.

These features of the relationship between Deliveroo and its riders are “fundamentally inconsistent with any notion of an employment relationship”.

Reporting by Sam Tobin, Editing by Paul Sandle and Sarah Young

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