Employment Status – Deliveroo Riders are Self-Employed Contractors

By Gary Smith


In a case which goes against the general trend of similar cases, Deliveroo riders have been held by the Court of Appeal to be self-employed contractors and not workers.

A succession of recent high profile cases culminating in the Uber case earlier this year have repeatedly held that staff labelled as ‘self-employed’ were in fact workers and thereby entitled to various employment law rights including to holiday pay.  It was found however that Deliveroo riders have an almost unfettered right of substitution which was in marked contrast with those other cases where either the right of substitution did not exist, or existed only as a theoretical contractual right which could never be used in practice.

The Court of Appeal recognised that each case rests on it’s own specific facts but re-emphasised the importance of the right of substitution if someone is to be genuinely self-employed.

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