The UK case drew comparison with a landmark Irish Supreme Court decision which held that the delivery drivers of Domino’s Pizza were employees and not independent contractors, for tax purposes.
However, the UK case found that because Deliveroo riders can, and regularly do, arrange substitute riders for deliveries, this could not amount to an employment relationship. This in turn meant they could not be recognised for collective bargaining.
Ronnie commented: “The court and tribunals both in Ireland and in the UK have strongly and repeatedly emphasised that they will not be bound by the description of the status of a worker set out in the relevant contract between the parties. That said, the contract is the starting point in any analysis of the relationship between the parties. Next, you look at the facts on the ground, how the de facto relationship actually operates.”