Deliveroo’s calls for new workers’ rights are given short shrift by unions

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Deliveroo’s working practices are ‘exploitative’ and ‘out of date’ say unions, responding to the company’s calls for new workers’ right legislation.

Deliveroo is calling for the government to overhaul workers’ rights legislation and consider creating ‘gig economy workers’ a new category of working. It says this would allow riders to have benefits without forcing it to categorise them as workers.

However, the company has received short thrift from leading voices such as Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary of IWGB who describes the calls as ‘hypocritical nonsense’.

GMB, the union, has issued a release to say that it’s the exploitative employment practices of companies like Deliveroo are out of date, not the law. It says that current legislation is more than adequate for protecting workers as long as it is properly enforced.

“The only people who think the law is out of date are the companies like Deliveroo, who are trying to subvert the law and exploit workers,” says Maria Ludkin, GMB legal director: “The law, when properly enforced, does the job of ensuring working people are paid national minimum wage and given the most basic employment rights.”

And responding to the Deliveroo story on the BBC (you can read it here), TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady says: “There’s nothing stopping Deliveroo from paying their workforce the minimum wage and guaranteeing them basic rights like holiday and sick pay.

“Plenty of employers are able to provide genuine flexibility and security for their workforce. Deliveroo have no excuse for not following suit.

“The company’s reluctance to offer benefits now is because they want to dodge wider employment and tax obligations by labelling staff as self-employed.”

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