Gig economy workers like Deliveroo have spent a lot of time deflecting criticism about how it classifies the people that work for them. They're self-employed, according to the companies themselves, and because they work for themselves head office isn't responsible for the kinds of things they'd get if the staff were classified as workers or employees.
Now Deliveroo is offering its staff a new form of courier insurance, designed to offer them some of the things they're missing out on. So while it's not quite the same as giving its staff statutory rights, it's a start - even if the staff have to pay for the insurance themselves.
Bicycle, scooter, and motorcycle couriers are now being given the option to sign up for the insurance through bike insurance company Bikmo. It's £1.85 a week, and with it Deliveroo staff who are too ill to work will be able to claim 75 per cent of their average weekly earning for up to 26 weeks. That average will be based on your earnings for the previous 12 months.
The insurance also gives staff £2,500 in annual medical expenses cover, £2,000 for dental repairs, £200 for accidental phone damage in the line of duty, and £700 for jury service cover. There's also £1,500 annual cover for overnight hospital stays and £750 for accompanying family members. Also available is public liability cover for £0.65 a week, which covers up to £2 million worth of costs if a Deliveroo courier injures a member of the public or causes property damage. Given the way some of the Deliveroo cyclists behave where I live, that's probably going to be claimed on sooner rather than later.
Deliveroo says the insurance policy is "cheaper than comparable products for people working in the on-demand economy." While it's not the same as giving couriers a guaranteed minimum wage, holiday pay, sick pay, or all the other things people get when they're properly employed, it's probably better than nothing. [Engadget]