Deliveroo to take on 15,000 more riders before end of the year

Thousands of new Deliveroo riders will have taken to the streets to deliver food before the end of the year, the company has said, after demand soared for takeaways during lockdown.

The company said that it is set to “work with” an extra 15,000 riders – Deliveroo does not employ those who deliver food for its platform.

It means that more than 30,000 riders will have joined Deliveroo’s platform since the start of 2020, more than doubling from 25,000 at the beginning of the year.

“Riders are heroes and we are so proud of the vital role that they are carrying out in their local communities during the pandemic,” said chief executive Will Shu.

“It is fantastic that we can now recruit even more riders and will create a record 15,000 new opportunities by the end of the year.

“With a record number of riders and restaurant partners on the platform, we can now reach even more amazing customers across the UK, delivering the food that people need and want.”

Since March about 11,500 new restaurants have joined the platform, and it now delivers for 16 new grocery brands.

The London-based business employs 60,000 riders across the world, in 12 cities. It has 2,500 employees.

The employment model of Deliveroo, Uber and other gig-economy jobs have come under heavy scrutiny in recent years.

Workers have rights under employment laws, including holiday pay and national minimum wages. However independent contractors do not.

In 2018 a court ruled that Deliveroo’s riders do not count as workers and could therefore not join a union.

Last month rival Just Eat said it would stop using gig economy workers to deliver food.

“We’re a large multinational company with quite a lot of money and we want to insure our people,” Jitse Groen, the chief executive of Just Eat Takeaway.com told the BBC.

“We want to be certain they do have benefits, that we do pay taxes on those workers.”

Earlier this year the Competition and Markets Authority allowed US online giant Amazon to take a 16% stake in Deliveroo.

Originally it said that the UK company could have collapsed without Amazon’s backing. It later reassessed this, but still let the deal go ahead.