The battle between gig economy companies and those who would like to see more guaranteed rights for its workers rages, and doesn't look like it'll be ending anytime soon. Labour MP Frank Field has called on food delivery company Deliveroo to guarantee its riders the National Living/Minimum Wage (£7.83 an hour). Deliveroo has turned round and said no, it won't be doing that.
Field recently published a report on the pay and job security afforded to Deliveroo riders, which used evidence from 179 riders - some of which came from riders themselves and some passed on from the unions. Some of those riders reported earning as little as £2-£3 an hour, and the report itself found that Deliveroo's workforce resembles a "dual labour" market. In other words the system seems to be working out very well for some and quite badly for others.
The report also found that some 158,000 workers within the food delivery sector of the gig economy reported earning less than minimum wage, and likened the company's employment model to that of the casual labour systems on Britain's docks 100 years ago. That essentially means people are "taking on a series of risks without necessarily being rewarded adequately for doing so." For these reasons, amongst other things, Field's report is recommending that Deliveroo start offering its riders the national living wage for the time they're logged in and working.
In response to the report Deliveroo has said that this isn't going to happen, not ever, with a spokesperson telling The Telegraph: “Deliveroo is proud to offer flexible well-paid work where riders on average earn well over £10 an hour, well above the National Living Wage." They also said that guaranteed hourly wages were "incompatible with the flexibility that characterises on demand working, which riders tell us is their number one reason for working with Deliveroo.”
There's no fancy business lingo to avoid answering the question there, Deliveroo is being pretty firm that its workers won't be getting a guaranteed wage. because heaven forbid it would have to reclassify its workers as employees, rather than self-employed contractors, and give them all the necessary rights. [The Telegraph]