The boss of Deliveroo saw his fortune balloon by nearly £25 million after the company’s riders were dealt a blow in their fight to collectively negotiate pay.
The Court of Appeal ruled that the people who deliver the company’s food are not workers. This means they are not entitled to bargain collectively to improve their pay or working conditions.
Their failure proved a win for Deliveroo’s investors. It lit a rocket under the company’s shares, which have been struggling since they listed in March.
Will Shu, Deliveroo’s founder and chief executive, owns around 6.4% of the business, and the value of each one of his nearly 116 million shares rose in value by as much as 21.5p after the decision.
In total he added around £24.9 million to his fortune on Thursday, mainly after the justices’ decision.
US internet giant Amazon is the largest shareholder in Deliveroo after having bought a big stake in May 2019.
On Thursday, the value of its shareholding rose by £46.3 million.
The judge decided that the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) would not be allowed to negotiate on behalf of Deliveroo’s delivery riders.
Deliveroo claims those who work for it are self-employed, so not entitled to the benefits that companies must offer to staff employees.
It said: “Deliveroo’s model offers the genuine flexibility that is only compatible with self-employment, providing riders with the work they tell us they value. Those campaigning to remove riders’ flexibility do not speak for the vast majority of riders and seek to impose a way of working that riders do not want. ”
Yet despite a jump in the company’s share price, it is still worth considerably less than bosses were hoping when they listed the business in London.
Even with the rise, Deliveroo is worth just £5 billion, compared to the £7.6 billion when its shares first started being traded in London.