Deliveroo riders are not workers


In the Deliveroo case the Central Arbitration Committee (“CAC”) had decided that meal delivery riders were not “workers” because they could use substitutes to do the work. The right to use substitutes was set out in the contract with minimal limitations and was respected in practice. Because they were not workers, the union could not seek recognition.

Simler J had rejected various challenges to this conclusion based on UK domestic law as unarguable. She granted permission, however, for the union to bring a judicial review claim based on Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights (Freedom of Association).

Supperstone J dismissed that claim and the Court of Appeal has now unanimously  dismissed the Union’s appeal.

 The Court of Appeal  held that the requirement of personal service in the “worker” definition is compatible with Article 11. The Court further held that the CAC was entitled to conclude , in the light of the genuine substitution right, that the necessary “employment relationship” did not exist for the purposes of Art 11.

 R (IWGB) v CAC: Interested Party Roofoods Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 952

Christopher Jeans QC and Tom Cross acted for Deliveroo