A trade union has brought a legal challenge arguing Deliveroo riders denied the right to collective bargaining are experiencing human rights violations.
The judicial review, brought by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), contends that Deliveroo denying their riders the right to collectively bargain for pay and holidays through their trade union breaches their human rights.
Article 11 of the Human Rights Convention protects the right to join a trade union. It states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions, for the protection of his interests.”
The high court ruling could have major implications for thousands of workers in the precarious, gig economy.
At stake in this case is not just the basic employment rights of Deliveroo riders, but their fundamental human rights to organise within a trade union
IWGB General Secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee
IWGB General Secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee says: “At stake in this case is not just the basic employment rights of Deliveroo riders, but their fundamental human rights to organise within a trade union and collectively bargain to improve their lot.
“By fighting this case as vigorously as it has, Deliveroo has shown its true colours. The IWGB will continue to fight until these basic rights and freedoms are vindicated.”
IWGB Wants to Overturn Central Arbitration Committee Ruling
The IWGB is challenging a decision made by the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) in November 2017 which found that Deliveroo riders were not workers because they could ask other riders to take on deliveries for them, or have the right to substitution.
The CAC said: “The central and insuperable difficulty for the union is that we find the substitution right to be genuine, in the sense that Deliveroo have decided in the new contract that riders have a right to substitute themselves both before and after they have accepted a particular job.”
“We have also heard evidence, that we accepted, of it being operated in practice. In light of our central finding on substitution, it cannot be said that the riders undertake to do personally any work or services for another party.”
Gig Economy Workers Fighting For Basic Employment Rights
The challenge is the latest in a line relating to workers in the gig economy. In June 2018, it was ruled that a plumber working for Pimlico plumbers for six years as a freelance contractor was entitled to employment rights such as paid holiday.
Uber currently has an appeal in the Supreme Court against an Employment Tribunal ruling that its drivers should be paid living wage and not be treated as self-employed.
In October 2016, Uber drivers Yaseen Aslam and James Farrar won a landmark case for the rights of gig economy workers when an employment tribunal ruled that Uber drivers are not self-employed and should be paid national living wage.
Earlier this month the Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that Addison Lee drivers are employees, not self-employed contractors.
As a result drivers should be paid the minimum wage and holiday pay. Trade Union GMB who brought the original case said it was a ‘huge win”
Addison Lee drivers are legally entitled to workers’ rights such as the national minimum wage and holiday pay rights.
Sue Harris, GMB
Sue Harris, GMB Legal Director, said:“Once again the courts have agreed Addison Lee drivers are legally entitled to workers’ rights such as the national minimum wage and holiday pay rights.
“Other employers should take note – GMB will not stop pursuing these exploitative companies on behalf of our members.”