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Deliveroo Boss: Workers’ Rights Would Mean Extra Cost to Consumer

MD Dan Warne says employee contracts and rights could add £1 to each delivery

A Deliveroo rider in Camberwell
Ben McMahon

Dan Warne, the managing director of Deliveroo in the UK and Ireland, has told MPs that the cost of providing standard workers’ rights — such as paid leave and sick pay — to its riders would directly impact users of the food delivery service financially. Warne told ministers that it could amount to a £1 cost per delivery.

The Guardian report that Warne told parliament’s business committee that Deliveroo’s riders — who classify as contractors, not employees — largely enjoy their status as flexible workers. Self-employment, he said, was “very, very popular” among its 15,000 workers. Yet it remains the subject of an ongoing dispute between some workers and their representatives and the employer. Because the workers do not currently have a guaranteed number of hours, they technically also face the possibility of not earning the UK minimum wage (18 – 20 £5.60; 21 – 24 £7.05; 25 and over £7.50.)

It’s been a month of mixed fortune for the UK’s fastest growing tech business. Two weeks ago Deliveroo were in the news for having secured a new round of investment that is being used to grow their off-site ‘dark kitchens’ in six new London locations. Earlier this week it was reported that some of those sites were falling foul of council regulations.