UK Court of Appeal confirms Deliveroo riders are self employed

The UK Court of Appeal has today dismissed an appeal by the IWGB union against past judgments that found Deliveroo riders to be self-employed.

The Court of Appeal verdict in favour of self employment was unanimous - the 3 judges all agreed and there were no dissenting opinions. The Court found without hesitation that past judgments were correct to reach the view that riders are not in an employment relationship with Deliveroo. One of the judges described the decision as “inevitable”.

This is the fourth court judgment in the UK which has determined that Deliveroo riders are self-employed, following a judgment by the Central Arbitration Committee and two such judgments at the High Court.

This comes as there is new evidence of the popularity of the work Deliveroo offers riders. Throughout the pandemic lockdowns Deliveroo has experienced a huge influx of people interested in working as riders, with up to 16,000 applications a week across the UK. Despite restrictions easing in April and May, as the retail and hospitality industries have struggled to fill traditional employment jobs upon reopening, the vast majority of Deliveroo riders are choosing to continue to work with the platform, citing the flexibility of the self employed model as the number one thing that attracts them to Deliveroo.

Over 90% of riders working with Deliveroo in April and May are still active in June following reopening, alongside tens of thousands more continuing to apply to become Deliveroo riders in the same month. This underlines the satisfaction riders feel with the self-employed work offered by Deliveroo and suggests a shift in the labour market, with more people choosing flexible self-employment over employment alternatives.

In April, a survey of over 10,000 riders recorded an 89% satisfaction rating of riders working with Deliveroo in the UK.

A spokesperson for Deliveroo said, “Today is good news for Deliveroo riders and marks an important milestone. UK courts have now tested and upheld the self-employed status of Deliveroo riders four times.

“Our message to riders is clear. We will continue to back your right to work the way you want and we will continue to listen to you and respond to the things that matter to you most.

“Deliveroo’s model offers the genuine flexibility that is only compatible with self-employment, providing riders with the work they tell us they value. Those campaigning to remove riders’ flexibility do not speak for the vast majority of riders and seek to impose a way of working that riders do not want. Deliveroo will continue to campaign for companies like ours to be able to offer the full flexibility of self employment along with greater benefits and more security.”