Deliveroo, the take-away delivery company that relies upon 15,000 self-employed couriers, has responded to pressure from Parliament by revising and simplifying the contracts offered to its drivers.
The UK Work and pensions committee last month accused several gig economy firms of manipulating drivers into signing away their employment rights through the use of deliberately confusing contracts. Among those mentioned were Uber, Deliveroo and Amazon.
Now Deliveroo has removed a clause in its worker contracts which stipulated that employees could not change their self-employed status at an employment tribunal.
The company’s new contracts will now only be four pages long and give delivery drivers more flexibility in working with other firms.
Deliveroo Managing Director Dan Warne released a letter to the companies’ employees on Thursday in which it outlined its new stance.
“We know that many riders work with other companies as well as Deliveroo, including our competitors. That is fine with us, as an independent contractor you are free to work with whomever you choose and wear whatever kit you want.”
“This new simple supplier agreement makes it easier than ever to work with Deliveroo. It makes clear that our riders are able to log into work with us whenever they want – allowing them to fit their work around their life rather than their life around their work.
Labour MP and chair of the W&P committee Frank Field has criticised the gig economy contracts as ‘unintelligible’. Also a trade union representing riders attacked the changes as an attempt to cement the notion that riders are independent contractors.
The change to Deliveroo’s contracts comes before a planned hearing at the Central Arbitration Committee in London later this month where riders will attempt to force the company to recognise their trade union membership and collective bargaining rights.