Deliveroo responds to pay dispute

After the effective strike action by London based Deliveroo riders over the new per-delivery payment system being trialled in London, the company has responded with a statement on its website emphasising that riders can either choose to stick with the fee model or opt in to test the new system.

Currently riders get paid £7 per hour plus £1 per delivery. According to Deliveroo this means that they can make between £9.20 and £9.30 an hour.

Under the new ‘drop fee’ system being trialled in London, riders make a flat fee of £3.75 per delivery. Some riders say that with the distances travelled this could well end up being their hourly rate.

Deliveroo said in a blog posted on its website that riders can maximise their earnings during peak times.

“In the places we’ve piloted it,” said Deliveroo, “we’ve seen average hourly fees for riders increase by up to x2 the previous payment model at our busiest times. Many drivers tell us they will receive more fees over a shorter period of time with this model, and that this works better for them.”

The company said that the system works better for most of its riders as 85% of them “work with Deliveroo to supplement their incomes”, rather than treating it as a full time job.

Hundreds of riders went on effective strike action over the new pay per drop system that they say could reduce their hourly rate to well below £7.20 an hour.

Deliveroo signed off its blog on Friday by saying: “Speaking with our riders and hearing their concerns on the new model is our top priority. We are open to all feedback and, contrary to speculation, have not taken any action against riders who have expressed concern with pay or the payment model. We’re committed to an open conversation, so we can continue to improve our payment model and delivery experience.

“Ultimately, if this model doesn’t work for our riders, it doesn’t work for us. We will therefore be working hard over the coming weeks to ensure that our riders feel heard and that their contribution to the company’s success is recognised fairly.”

With large numbers of delivery companies going over to pay per drop, there are questions whether the results could drive rates to below the minimum wage. There are questions as to whether people are working as contractors or effectively as full employees too. There has been some interest from the media in this, and if the heat returns in September it could well be an issue that gets addressed by government.