17 March: The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) calls on Deliveroo to immediately reform its Covid-19 hardship fund, which has been set up in a way which makes it impossible for many riders that are genuinely sick or self isolating to claim the payments.
The IWGB’s Couriers and Logistics branch is making this demand alongside a number of others that are necessary if gig economy companies intend to operate safely and ethically during the crisis, without worsening the risk to the public. The branch will be writing to gig economy employers this week with its demands.
Deliveroo’s fund, announced last week, is only available to those that can produce a sick note. Given that the NHS guidelines state that people that display Covid-19 symptoms should not go to their GP and the 111 helpline does not currently provide sick notes, it is unclear how Deliveroo workers are expected to provide said notes.
Deliveroo has even denied access to its hardship fund to riders that it has deactivated from the app, as it suspected they had contracted Covid-19.
Furthermore, Deliveroo has provided no information on how much the fund would pay out, even in a case where someone is able to procure a sick note.
IWGB Couriers and Logistics branch chair Alex Marshall said:
“Once we pull the curtains on Deliveroo’s announcement on assistance for workers that are sick or self-isolating, it is obvious that behind the PR spin it is more of the same old deceitful tactics. Deliveroo and other so-called gig economy employers have to stop blocking their workers’ access to these funds and immediately introduce full contractual sick pay, without pre-conditions. Increasingly, these workers are being expected to play a huge role in feeding people during this time of crisis, so it is time for their employers and the government to give them the basic rights we expect in any decent and just society."
The IWGB’s Couriers and Logistics branch will, among other things, also be demanding that that employers provide:
The IWGB represents workers in several gig economy companies, including Uber, Deliveroo, eCourier, Addison Lee, Stuart, The Doctors Laboratory and City Sprint.
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