Recent case law update – Deliveroo Drivers are definitely not workers
In 2017 the Central Arbitration Committee rejected an application by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain to be recognised on behalf of a group of Deliveroo riders for collective bargaining purposes. The CAC ruled that the riders were not workers, the key deciding factor being the unfettered right of substitution.
The IWUGB has continued to challenge the decision with the latest ruling from the Court of Appeal upholding the High Court and the CAC’s conclusions. The focus remained on the right of substitution – the riders were under no obligation to provide services personally and the right of substitution was completely unfettered. Although the Court stated that evidence of substitution wasn’t vital, it did of course help in this case that Deliveroo was able to produce examples of the genuine unfettered right of substitution.
This latest judgment will provide some comfort to employers against the recent tendency of decisions determining worker status more often than not. It emphasises the importance of the right of substitution in determining worker status, and of that right being genuine and unfettered. If you have examples of that right being exercised – even better (and keep records).
The judgment came with a word of warning from the Court though – “there may be other cases where, on different facts and with a broader range of available arguments, a different result may eventuate”.
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