UK: Deliveroo cannot be compelled to engage with unions
Deliveroo riders have no right to collective negotiations in respect of pay and conditions, the UK Supreme Court has ruled.
Lady Rose said that riders had no “employment relationship” with the food company and were not entitled to compulsory collective bargaining.
The judge, along with Lord Lloyd-Jones, said multiple factors were “fundamentally inconsistent” with a relationship of employment, including that riders could decline offers of work and could work for Deliveroo’s competitors.
The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), said it was disappointed with the ruling.
“As a union we cannot accept that thousands of riders should be working without key protections like the right to collective bargaining,” it said in a statement.
“Whether reflected in legislation or not, couriers are joining the union in ever bigger numbers and building our collective power to take action and hold companies like Deliveroo to account,” it added.
Judges also rejected the argument that the arrangement in place between Deliveroo and riders infringed Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which governs the right to join a trade union.
The court said nothing prevents riders from forming a union with which Deliveroo could bargain.
But the judgment added: “The issue is whether Article 11 requires the United Kingdom to go beyond that current position and to enact legislation conferring on Article 11 workers the right to require their reluctant employer to recognise and negotiate with the union of their choice.”
A Deliveroo spokesperson said: “This is a positive judgment for Deliveroo riders, who value the flexibility that self-employed work offers.”
The IWGB stated: “Flexibility, including the option for account substitution, is no reason to strip workers of basic entitlements like fair pay and collective bargaining rights.”