Deliveroo workers’ hit the headlines yesterday with reports that their contracts ban access to employment tribunals. The news follows recent reports about the Uber employment tribunal case and Hermes couriers’ pay terms. So what’s going on in the gig economy?
Are clauses banning couriers going to an employment tribunal legal?
The restaurant delivery firm Deliveroo has allegedly included such a clause in its delivery workers contracts. The Guardian article describes the Deliveroo couriers as ‘self-employed workers’ and goes on to quote the following clause, which is reportedly in their contracts:
“You further warrant that neither you nor anyone acting on your behalf will present any claim in the employment tribunal or any civil court in which it is contended that you are either an employee or a worker.”
The Deliveroo contract allegedly includes an indemnity clause stating the worker will “indemnify and keep indemnified Deliveroo against costs (including legal costs) and expenses that it incurs” [in relation to employment tribunal claims].
Such clauses will be likely to deter Deliveroo workers from bringing claims based on either employee or worker status.
Legal commentators say its unlikely the clauses will be enforced by an employment tribunal because they seek to exclude employment rights and impose a penalty for doing so. The law only allows worker or employees to settle or waive their right to go to an employment tribunal where strict legal conditions are met in relation to settlement agreements or ACAS COT3 agreements.
Deliveroo is reported to have said “We’ve worked with legal experts to design our contracts to reflect that and we’re proud to be creating opportunities for over 5,000 riders across the UK”.
More reading: employment status and the gig economy
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