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Rise of Deliveroo and the Decline of Workers Rights

Takeaway orders in Brighton and Hove have increased by over 140 percent in the last year.

This is primarily due to the rise and success of the online food delivery company, Deliveroo – who will bring you food to your home or office, from restaurants, for a fee of £2.50.

Deliveroo has said that their rapid growth in Brighton means customers and restaurants have more choice, and their employee’s or ‘riders’ as they are known, benefit from the opportunity of well-paid and flexible work.

However, does this ‘on demand’ gig economy that Deliveroo provides, really offer their workers with the independence, flexibility and competitive pay they promise?

It might not be as simple as it seems: with strikes and class actions by workers, as well as government restrictions popping up as quickly as ap updates for their own site.

Last year Deliveroo tried to impose a pay-per-delivery contract, where riders would no longer be paid hourly but instead per delivery. These proposals were met with a day-long strike by London workers, claiming that they would be paid under the minimum wage due to the new plans.

George Burn, a former Deliveroo Rider, said that ‘the conditions are getting worse’ for the workers due ‘payment of equipment and pay-per-delivery contracts.’

Currently, Deliveroo pays their workers £7 an hour, and then £1 per delivery, or ‘drop’ as they are referred to. Due to riders self-employed work status, they are not entitled to sick pay, holidays or other benefits. Even if they get knocked off their bike on a job, they are still not entitled to injury pay.

By using Deliveroo, the money may stay in Brighton and the local economy, however, at the cost of low wages, job insecurity and violation of workers’ rights, is it really worth it?

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