Deliveroo boss calls for new charter for self-employed

The boss of Deliveroo is calling on the government to draw up a new charter to allow 'gig economy' platforms to provide perks to freelancers without their employment status changing.

Will Shu, chief executive of the food delivery firm, made the call following a court's decision that riders who Deliveroo engaged on a self-employed basis were actually 'workers,' deserving of more rights than they had.

Shu is critical of current employment legislation, saying it 'constrains' the benefits he can offer those his firm engages without them risking the flexibility that their independent status affords (to both them as individuals, and to Deliveroo as their end-user).

"I'm calling on the government to introduce a new charter to...provide greater clarity for companies who want to offer self-employed contractors more security, as well as greater certainty for those who work in the on-demand economy," he said.

"It would be a bold move and in the interests of the growing number of platform workers...[but] the government can act now to build the legal framework that benefits those who work in the on-demand economy, consumers and tech businesses like mine."

Previously, MPs have attacked firms like Deliveroo, accusing them of pursuing self-employed status for those they engage purely to get 'all the benefits' of not having them on the payroll, while those engaged 'take all the risks.'

"I have long argued that I want to end this trade-off between flexibility and security," wrote Shu, who acknowledged that self-employed individuals remain ineligible for benefits from their end-users.

"Because this way of working [gig economy working] is new, the regulation has some catching up to do, and currently for riders to be able to maintain the flexibility they want, they are not able to receive the benefits they deserve."

Shu's call comes after an Employment Status consultation closed following its launch in response to the Taylor Review, in which the government was told that, "if it looks and feels like employment, it should have the status and protection of employment."


25th July 2018

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