On 21 November 2023, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in Independent Workers Union of Great Britain v Central Arbitration Committee and RooFoods Ltd t/a Deliveroo UKSC 43. Five 11KBW barristers appeared in the appeal. A copy can be found here.
A unanimous Supreme Court dismissed the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain’s claim under article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”) to be recognised for the purposes of collective bargaining. The Supreme Court held that Deliveroo riders were not in an employment relationship for the purposes of article 11 ECHR, and the provisions of that article which protect trade union activity do not apply to them. The Supreme Court, observing that the European Court of Human Rights has reiterated that states have a wide margin of discretion in how they choose to protect trade-union freedom, held that article 11 does not go so far as to include a right to compulsory collective bargaining.