Deliveroo has announced that it will offer income insurance to their delivery riders, in a move that appears aimed at appeasing critics of the gig-economy and the company’s treatment of workers.
The company’s delivery riders will now be able to purchase insurance — offered by specialist cycle insurance company Bikmo — for £1.85 per week, under which they will be entitled to claim 75% of their average weekly income for up to 6 months should they be unable to work due to injury or illness. Cycle couriers will also be able to purchase public liability insurance of up to £2 million for an additional £0.65 per week.
Dan Warne, managing director for Deliveroo UK and Ireland, said: “We know the thing our riders value the most is flexibility to fit their work around their lives... But they also deserve security while they’re out on the road.”
Deliveroo, along with competitors UberEats and other gig-economy operators, has faced criticism in recent years over its assertion that riders are self employed contractors — not employees — and therefore are not entitled to the usual employee entitlements like accrued holidays and sick pay, nor the protections of a minimum wage. Indeed, its argued that offering such securities to riders would incur additional cost to consumers — apparently not something the business is yet willing to do.
By negotiating this access to income insurance for its contractors, Deliveroo appears to be working to address a lack of security, while simultaneously absolving itself of any direct responsibility to its network of couriers, and — ultimately — ensuring the onus remains on riders to protect themselves.