Deliveroo criticised for sacking 100 couriers days before Christmas | Business

Deliveroo has offered to review individual cases after being criticised for sacking more than 100 drivers days before Christmas.

The food delivery company terminated a raft of driver contracts last week over alleged fraud, where food orders were marked as complete but went undelivered.

But Deliveroo has come under fire for the way it handled the mass sacking. The IWW Couriers Network said riders were notified that they had lost their jobs via identical emails, with no opportunity to defend themselves or review any information about their individual cases.

The network’s lead organiser, Chris Fear, said 99% of the couriers he had spoken to deny the allegations, which he called “quite insulting and humiliating” to professional drivers.

Deliveroo is now directing sacked drivers to log their cases for individual review.

“Riders who wish to query the decision can contact rider support and their concerns will be reviewed,” a company spokesperson said. It did not give any timeframe for resolving cases.

Deliveroo claims it sent out numerous fleet-wide warnings and some individual notices about the issue in recent months, before it went on to terminate more than 100 contracts without individual consultation.

The company’s drivers, which are recognised as self-employed contractors, do not have the same rights as workers.

Deliveroo said that in some cases, riders’ contracts were cancelled for marking hundreds of pounds of food as delivered seconds after collecting orders at a restaurant, or failing to travel near a customer’s address before citing the order as delivered. It said there was at least one case in which a rider failed to deliver 95 orders over two months.

The company’s riders lost a high court battle to be recognised as workers earlier this month, having attempted to appeal a ruling that confirmed them as self-employed.

It was the latest blow for campaigners who have been trying to gain further rights for gig economy workers.

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