Deliveroo is facing a tribunal on whether its riders are actually workers

Deliveroo strikeSam Shead/Business Insider UKDeliveroo couriers protesting outside the company’s offices in August 2016.

A UK tribunal is expected to rule on whether Deliveroo riders are employees, in a case that is strikingly similar to a ruling against Uber last year.

The Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) union claimed in a press release that Deliveroo “bogusly” classifies riders as independent contractors, and says they are in fact workers.

If the union wins its claim, Deliveroo riders would be entitled to a minimum wage, paid holiday, and other employment rights, IWGB president Jason Moyer-Lee told Business Insider.

In a statement, Moyer-Lee added: “For years employers in the so-called gig economy have been able to get away with unlawfully depriving their workers of employment rights to which they are legally entitled. The chickens are now coming home to roost. In this tribunal hearing we intend to expose Deliveroo’s sham operations and force them to finally reckon with the rule of law.”

Deliveroo has not immediately responded to a request for comment.

The union’s claim is represented by the same law firm that successfully argued British Uber drivers are entitled to holiday, sick page, and the minimum wage last year, Leigh Day, as well as trade barrister John Hendy QC. Uber is appealing the ruling. Other similar cases include the ruling against courier service CitySprint, which found the company had to award holiday pay, and Pimlico Plumbers, whose workers can no longer be classified as self-employed.

The union also wants recognition from Deliveroo so it can bargain on behalf of its members. IWGB has organised Deliveroo rider strikes in London and Brighton and pushed for higher wages for riders.

The tribunal comes shortly after Deliveroo’s managing director, Dan Warne, was tripped up by MPs over a clause in the company’s employment contracts which forbids riders from arguing their employment status. Warne eventually promised the company would drop the clause.

The hearings will take place on May 24 and 25.

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