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Union recognition one step closer for Deliveroo riders

High Court grants permission for IWGB to appeal against ruling the riders aren't legally ‘workers’

DELIVEROO riders took a step towards union recognition today after they were granted permission to appeal against a ruling that they are not legally “workers.”

The High Court allowed a full judicial review of the decision that does not entitle riders in Camden, north London to union recognition and collective bargaining.

Ms Justice Simler said the International Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) had an “arguable” case that Deliveroo riders had the right to collective bargaining under the European Convention on Human Rights.

IWGB general secretary Jason Moyer-Lee said the case had “become not just an employment rights issue but rather a matter of fundamental human rights.

“Deliveroo should take a serious look at itself and ask itself whether it really wants to save a bit of money at the expense of the human rights of the individuals who make their business a success.”

But Ms Justice Simler rejected the IWGB application for a cost-capping order to restrict its liabilities for Deliveroo’s legal costs, which IWGB claim could be in excess of £100,000.

She said the case “is not of common interest to all workers in the gig economy,” declaring it “unlikely” that it could “form any sort of precedent.”

Mr Moyer-Lee told the Star he was “disappointed” with that decision.

“To say human rights of workers in the so-called gig economy is not a matter of public importance is absurd,” he said.

Last November, the Central Arbitration Committee found that, because Deliveroo riders could substitute someone in their place to complete a delivery, they were not legally workers.

A full judicial review of that decision will now take place in the near future.

The Supreme Court ruled earlier this week against bogus “self-employer” Pimlico Plumbers and found that the “tight control” the company had over Gary Smith rubbished its claim that he was an “independent contractor.”

Mr Smith worked for Pimlico Plumbers from 2005 until he was sacked in 2011 over asking for his hours to be reduced after having suffered a heart attack.

But Ms Justice Simler rejected the IWGB argument that the Pimlico Plumbers judgment “strengthens and fortifies” its Deliveroo case, finding that the contract terms were distinct from one another.

The IWGB needs donations to help cover potential legal liabilities. You can donate here: mstar.link/deliveroo-fund.

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