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  • Writer's pictureJoost van Ladesteijn

UK Supreme Court unaniem: Deliveroo riders zijn geen werknemers


"The Supreme Court unanimously dismisses the IWGB’s appeal. It holds that the riders were not in an employment relationship for the purposes of article 11 ECHR, and the provisions of that article which protect trade union activity do not apply to them."


"The European Court has held that to decide whether there is an employment relationship [...], a court should have regard to the factors set out in the International Labour Organisation Employment Relationship Recommendation, 2006 No 198. That recommendation makes the point that the assessment of such a relationship should be guided primarily by the facts relating to the performance of work and the remuneration of the worker, notwithstanding how the relationship is characterised in any contract or other agreement between the parties. The correct approach requires the Court to consider many different factors, focussing on the practicalities of the relationship and how it operates in reality".


"Some findings of the CAC were particularly significant. First, the contract between the riders and Deliveroo gives riders a broad and virtually unfettered right to appoint a substitute to take on their jobs. This right, on its face, is totally inconsistent with there being an employment relationship. The CAC found that Deliveroo did not police a rider’s decision to use a substitute and riders would not be criticised or sanctioned for doing so. Secondly, the CAC found that Deliveroo did not terminate riders’ contracts for failing to accept a certain percentage of orders or failing to make themselves sufficiently available. The riders were free to work or not as convenient to them. Finally, the CAC found that Deliveroo did not object to riders working simultaneously for Deliveroo’s competitors. In all the circumstances, the CAC was entitled to conclude that the provisions in the contract genuinely reflected the reality of the relationship and that that was not an employment relationship."


Zie ook bv de volgende rechtsoverwegingen:

"There are many situations in which persons are in a position of unequal bargaining power and are offered contractual terms on a take it or leave it basis. However, that does not mean that they are entitled to band together and require the counterparty to negotiate with them collectively."


"Such a broad power of substitution is, on its face, totally inconsistent with the existence of an obligation to provide personal service which is essential to the existence of an employment relationship within article 11. (See ILO Recommendation No 198, as adopted into the Strasbourg jurisprudence by The Good Shepherd."


"Riders are thus free to reject offers of work, to make themselves unavailable and to undertake work for competitors. Once again, these features are fundamentally inconsistent with any notion of an employment relationship."



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