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Deliveroo asks for reboot of employment laws as gig economy expands

20 Aug 2019 / employment Print

Deliveroo push gig-economy reboot of employment laws

Deliveroo’s new general manager for Ireland Michael Healy says he wants to alter the legal basis for self-employment as the food delivery market expands.

The company has made a submission to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection asking for a new employment model, whereby it could provide some benefits to its delivery riders, but still not directly employ them.

He told the business news website Fora that employment law in this country is not sufficiently evolved, and that the trade-off between security and flexibility should come to an end.

The Deliveroo proposal would give riders benefits, such as sick pay, for example, as well as insurance, which it already provides.

Healy believes that job security and flexibility can be meshed in a new way that reflects how consumers now engage with the service economy.

Legal risks

“We’d like to be able to offer (riders) things like training, but we can’t do that today without facing the legal risks, and they’re reclassified as employees, which means we have to commission a minimum number of hours, which takes away the flexibility that they desire,” he told Fora.

Deliveroo recently raised US$575 million from backers, including Amazon. The business has 1,000 riders in this country and works in partnership with 1,200 restaurants, with a further 300 in its sights.  

Gazette Desk
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