Business

Deliveroo overhauls controversial courier contracts

Deliveroo Image copyright Getty Images

Deliveroo has changed the contract for its couriers after receiving a drubbing from MPs over the so-called "gig economy's" treatment of workers.

The takeaway delivery business has removed a clause that banned couriers from challenging their self-employed status before an employment tribunal.

The clause was legally unenforceable.

However, the Labour MP Frank Field called it "egregious", adding: "It does seem a business model if you can get away with it."

In the new supplier agreement, Deliveroo specifies that freelance couriers can work for other businesses and do not have to wear Deliveroo-branded clothing.

The company has also shortened its contracts to four pages after the Work and Pensions Committee labelled those offered by Deliveroo and others such as Uber to be "unintelligible".

The gig economy - where people work on a job-by-job basis rather than being paid a salary and benefits - and zero-hours contracts have come under increasing scrutiny.

Most recently, Labour's draft manifesto spelled out how it wanted to move the "burden of proof" in the gig economy so that the law assumes a worker is an employee unless that person states otherwise.

Dan Warne, UK managing director at Deliveroo, said the new agreement "makes clear that our riders are able to log in to work with us whenever they want - allowing them to fit their work around their life rather than their life around their work".

He added: "'The flexible work we offer means that our riders are their own bosses - they can choose not to work if it doesn't fit in with their own schedule, wear whatever branding they want and work for multiple companies at the same time."

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