Deliveroo riders have raised concerns about low pay as the company prepares for an £8.8bn flotation that will hand its founder, Will Shu, a £30m payout plus shares worth more than £500m.
Couriers who have met a minimum target of deliveries will share a £16m cash bonus but, unlike head office staff, they are not being offered free shares because Deliveroo says they are self-employed contractors and not employees.
Rider in Kent: Expecting to receive a £200 bonus, but said it did not make up for an estimated £1,000 in fee reductions over more than three years of work.
“It’s disgusting that as Shu cashes out we are offered peanuts. Deliveroo has relentlessly cut rider fees and even boasts about it to investors. They send us emails telling us how valuable we are while all the time reducing our pay quietly in the background,” the rider said.
Deliveroo riders are paid according to a complex formula based on factors such as the time of day and the distance to a delivery. As a result, many say they do not fully understand how their pay is calculated.
Rider in north London, 33: Having worked for Deliveroo for more than three years, his earnings have fallen from more than £100 a day to about £300 for a 40-hour week, equal to less than £8 an hour before costs including bike insurance, oil, petrol and often numerous parking fines.
“If you count it all in, you find you are working for nothing,” he said. He had heard about the IPO bonus scheme for riders but said: “I don’t believe that because they don’t care about us.”
Rider in Coventry: The pay system was opaque, he said, but rates had decreased over time. This year was looking harder than ever because of an influx of new couriers.
“They’ve wrung riders for all they’re worth while continuing to deny them the true status of worker and the associated securities that goes along with it.”
Rider in north London, 29: Getting a £250 bonus. He said he was not jealous of Shu. “It’s good he is giving some money for us. What are they without drivers? Yeah [Will Shu] is getting £30m but he started with a bike and an app. I know a guy like me got to that level,” he said.