Food delivery company Just Eat plans to stop using gig economy workers across Europe in favour of employees who get benefits and workplace protections.
Speaking to BBC World News, Just East Takeaway chief executive Jitse Groen said he did not like the fact that the people his company relies upon to make deliveries had tougher working conditions than employees, and that it was the company’s “intent not to have those in Europe”.
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Groen said the company, which is set to merge with US rival Grubhub to create the world’s biggest food delivery firm outside of China, saw an increase in demand for its services after an initial fall when lockdown restrictions were introduced. Booming demand could mean it would hire more staff.
He said it may continue using gig workers in some countries where it is possible to pay insurance for them and “make the quality of life of these people a lot better than what it might be now”.
Earlier this year, think tank Doteveryone found gig workers were often “trapped” in insecure work because they were often unable to develop the skills that would allow them to achieve their career goals.
A case that is widely thought to shape legislation around worker status in the UK – Aslam and others v Uber BV and others – was heard at the Supreme Court last month, with a judgment expected later this year. Uber drivers have been successful at every stage of the legal process in arguing that they are workers and not self-employed.