Field publishes report into working conditions at Deliveroo

A report by Frank Field MP has found that earning a living working for hot food delivery operation Deliveroo “works well for some individuals and very poorly for others”.

Published yesterday (24 July) by Frank Field, the MP who chairs the Parliamentary Work and Pensions Committee, the report found that: “Some Deliveroo riders earn as little as £2 or £3 an hour. Others, in even more extreme circumstances, earn nothing at all at certain times while those at the other end of the scale sometimes reach £20 an hour.”

In a statement posted on his website, Field also claimed that: “Across the online food delivery sector of the ‘gig economy’ as a whole, around 158,000 individuals report being paid less than the National Living Wage.”

Essentially, said Field, Deliveroo – and other gig economy companies – have to “strike a more just balance between flexibility and security”.

The report’s key recommendations include the conclusion that: “Workers who prize flexibility and only wish to work a smaller number of hours to suit their own needs, or wrap around other jobs, should be able to continue embracing the current model which enables Deliveroo to expand and contract its workforce when needed. However, the company should guarantee hourly pay rates of no less than the National Living Wage for all the time that people are logged in and available for work.”

“Frank says: ‘The self-employed status and part-time nature of much gig economy work has given the labour market a flexibility that is still relatively new. Some of those workers who are keen to seize this opportunity view it as a short-term option while they develop their longer term earning power – setting up their own business, starting on an artistic career and the like.

‘But for an unknown number of workers these imposed self-employment opportunities are all there is on offer, even though their need is for stable work for at least the level of the National Living Wage. It is this group that we are concerned about in this report and have been in each previous report we have published on the gig economy. The reform programme we outline will, I hope, be picked up by Deliveroo and the Government as a means of both protecting this group while preserving the flexibility that so many riders have said they value.”