Deliveroo riders get a ‘stronger voice’ with landmark union deal

GMB Union and Deliveroo have signed an historic union recognition deal covering the company’s more than 90,000 self-employed riders.

The Voluntary Partnership Agreement will see GMB have rights to collective bargaining on pay and consultation rights on benefits and other issues, including riders’ health, safety and wellbeing, according to a statement from GMB.

GMB will also be able to represent individual riders who are GMB members in disputes, giving them a stronger voice.

The agreement recognises that Deliveroo riders are self-employed, following a series of UK court judgements which have confirmed this status.

Mick Rix, GMB national officer, said: “This deal is the first of its kind in the world.

“Tens of thousands of riders for one of the world’s largest online food delivery services will now be covered by a collective agreement that gives them a voice – including pay talks, guaranteed earnings and representation in times of difficulty.

“Riders deserve respect for the work they do; and Deliveroo deserves praise for developing this innovative agreement with GMB – a blueprint for those working in the platform self-employed sector.

“This is a valuable contribution in making work better and to the future world of work.”

Will Shu, Deliveroo founder and CEO, said: “We are delighted to partner with the GMB in this first-of-its-kind voluntary agreement, giving self-employed riders flexibility, guaranteed earnings, representation and benefits. Deliveroo has long called for riders to have both flexibility and security and this innovative agreement is exactly the sort of partnership the on-demand economy should be based on.

“This voluntary partnership is based on a shared commitment between the GMB and Deliveroo to rider welfare and wellbeing. Together, we are focusing on what matters most to riders.

“Deliveroo was amongst the first platforms to offer riders free insurance, which we have extended to cover periods of illness and support for new parents, and we are proud to be able to build on that with this new partnership.”

Deliveroo riders will not automatically become GMB members, the union clarified. They will have to sign up as members through the usual channels.

Deliveroo riders are currently paid the National Living Wage, plus costs, while on an order, although, Deliveroo said, “most riders earn significantly more than this”. This pay floor will be guaranteed as part of the agreement and will be discussed annually with the GMB.

Deliveroo was founded in 2013 by William Shu and Greg Orlowski. Deliveroo works with over 170,000 best-loved restaurants and grocery partners, as well as over 190,000 riders globally to provide the best food delivery experience in the world. Headquartered in London, the company offices around the globe. Deliveroo operates across 11 markets, including Australia, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and the UK.

GMB is a trade union that represents working people across the UK and Ireland. GMB has over 500,000 members who work in multiple types of jobs across public services and private sector companies. 

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