Union Seeks Judicial Review of Decision that Deliveroo Riders are Self-employed

Friday 2nd March 2018

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has applied to the High Court for permission to judicially review the November 2017 decision of the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) that Deliveroo couriers are self-employed and not entitled to benefits available to those with ‘worker’ status, such as paid holiday and minimum wage.

The CAC, the body that resolves collective worker disputes, found that the Deliveroo riders’ contractual right to allocate a substitute to carry out work in their place was “fatal” to their claim to be workers.

The IWGB’s application is based on the contention that the CAC incorrectly interpreted the law, specifically that the CAC did not hear any evidence of the substitution clause in Deliveroo riders’ contracts being correctly used, particularly with regard to the obligations the substitution clause imposes on the riders to carry out certain pre-engagement checks on their substitutes.  The IWGB also contend that evidence that the substitution clause puts the company in breach of health and safety and food safety standards was ignored.

Conclusion:    Given the existence of the substitution clause in Deliveroo riders’ contracts it would be a notable victory for the IWGB if its application is successful.  However, if the Courts revisit the idea that ‘personal service’ is a prerequisite for worker status in either Pimlico Plumbers v Smith or Uber BV and others v Aslam and others this may strengthen the position of the IWGB with regard to its application.

We will of course report and provide analysis on the outcome of all these matters when they are published.