(Adds comment from Deliveroo)
LONDON Jan 9 British law firm Leigh Day is
advising drivers at takeaway foods delivery firm Deliveroo on
the possibility of taking legal action to gain workers' rights
such as the minimum wage, in a further challenge to the
flourishing 'gig economy'.
In October two drivers represented by Leigh Day won the
right to be treated as workers by Uber in a move which
the taxi app operator is seeking to appeal against but could
benefit tens of thousands of drivers across the country.
Deliveroo bicycle and motorbike riders, with their
distinctive black and teal jackets, have become a familiar sight
on London streets since the firm started trading in 2013,
delivering food from restaurants to customers.
In August, however, the firm started paying riders per
delivery rather than per hour, sparking an outcry. It later
apologised, saying its riders could opt out of the new system.
On Monday Leigh Day said it was looking into potential legal
action against the firm which is one of many to operate in the
so-called 'gig economy' where individuals work for multiple
employers day-to-day without having a fixed contract.
"We will argue that Deliveroo has no reasonable grounds to
argue that its riders are self-employed contractors and that it
should immediately ensure that its riders are paid at least the
National Minimum Wage and receive paid holiday," said lawyer
Deliveroo said on average its riders earned more than the
national living wage, which is currently the same as the minimum
wage of 7.20 pounds ($8.80) per hour for those aged 25 years and
over, and the firm continued to attract new drivers.
"Over 10,000 people apply to ride with us each week, which
shows that working with Deliveroo is popular and valued by
riders right across the country," a spokesman said.
(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Greg Mahlich)