Food delivery giant Deliveroo has signed a recognition deal with a leading trade union covering the company’s 90,000 self-employed riders.
The GMB said it is a “historic” agreement giving it rights to collective bargaining on pay, and consultation rights on benefits and other issues, including riders’ health, safety and wellbeing.
The union said it will also be able to represent individual riders who are GMB members in disputes.
The GMB said the agreement recognises that Deliveroo riders are self-employed, following a series of UK court judgments which have confirmed this status.
National officer Mick Rix said: “This deal is the first of its kind in the world.
“Tens of thousands of riders for one of the world’s largest online food delivery services will now be covered by a collective agreement that gives them a voice, including pay talks, guaranteed earnings, and representation in times of difficulty.
“Riders deserve respect for the work they do; and Deliveroo deserves praise for developing this innovative agreement with GMB – a blueprint for those working in the platform self-employed sector.
“This is a valuable contribution in making work better and to the future world of work.”
Will Shu, Deliveroo founder and chief executive, said: “We are delighted to partner with the GMB in this first-of-its-kind voluntary agreement, giving self-employed riders flexibility, guaranteed earnings, representation and benefits.
“Deliveroo has long called for riders to have both flexibility and security and this innovative agreement is exactly the sort of partnership the on-demand economy should be based on.
“This voluntary partnership is based on a shared commitment between the GMB and Deliveroo to rider welfare and wellbeing. Together, we are focusing on what matters most to riders.”
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “After GMB’s breakthrough agreement with Uber last year, this is another landmark agreement that will give Deliveroo riders a real voice at work.
“This GMB and Deliveroo deal will pave the way for improved workers’ rights.
“This is a sign of things to come. Unions are starting to win the fight against insecure work and won’t rest until platform companies across the gig economy agree to work with their staff on improving pay and conditions.
“We need the Government to play its part. UK employment and union law is still not fit for purpose and needs dragging into the 21st century.”
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said: “Deliveroo and GMB’s ground-breaking agreement shows how innovation and a voice at work can go hand in hand.
“It is good that there are successful businesses who understand the value of trade unions in a modern economy.”