• CAC incorrectly interpreted the law with regards to the substitution clause

  • No evidence given of substitution clause being correctly used

  • CAC had decided that majority of Deliveroo couriers in bargaining unit would support bid to collectively bargain on pay, hours and holiday.

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is applying for permission to judicially review the decision by the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC), which ruled that Deliveroo couriers are not workers and consequently not entitled to collective bargaining rights.  Being a worker is also a prerequisite for entitlement to holidays and minimum wage.

The IWGB is applying for permission to judicially review the decision today with the High Court, on the grounds that the CAC had incorrectly interpreted the law, particularly with regards to Deliveroo’s alleged substitution clause.

The CAC had stated that it considered the clause within Deliveroo’s rider contract which granted Deliveroo couriers the right to find a substitute to do their deliveries to be genuine. This technicality meant that they could not be considered workers.

However, no evidence was heard during the tribunal of the substitution clause being correctly used, particularly the obligation for the Deliveroo courier to ensure that the substitute is legally entitled to work in the UK, that the contracting of the substitute is in compliance with the Modern Slavery Act and that the substitute has no unspent criminal convictions, among other requirements.

The CAC also erroneously ignored the relevance of evidence of the fact that Deliveroo’s substitution clause was putting the company in breach of regulatory requirements surrounding health and safety and food safety.

IWGB General Secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee said: “The IWGB will not stand by idly while Deliveroo continues to deprive its workers of their rights because they successfully gamed the system, won on a technicality and benefited from a legally questionable tribunal decision. This judicial review is about rectifying the situation and forcing Deliveroo to treat its riders as the workers they are.”

The IWGB brought a collective bargaining case before the CAC on behalf of Deliveroo couriers last year. In November, the CAC ruled that, while a majority of Deliveroo couriers would support the IWGB’s bid for collective bargaining on pay, hours and holiday, they could not be granted those rights as they are not workers.

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