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Victory for Union in first stage of case for Deliveroo riders' rights

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The High Court has today given the International Workers of Great Britain (“IWGB”) permission to proceed with it's application for judicial review. This is an important case concerning the rights of workers within the “gig economy” to collective bargaining.

The Central Arbitration Committee Decision

The IWGB represents food delivery drivers, who work for Deliveroo. On 28 November 2016 the IWGB submitted an application to be recognised for collective bargaining by Deliveroo. Deliveroo opposed the application. In particular Deliveroo argued that the drivers were not “workers” within the meaning of the relevant legislation.

The Central Arbitration Committee (“the CAC”) agreed with Deliveroo. The application for union recognition was rejected on the sole basis that that Deliveroo drivers were not “workers” within the meaning of section 296 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. The Union met all the other criteria for recognition.

Application for Judicial Review

The High Court has today given the IWGB permission to proceed in an application to judicially review the CAC’s decision.

The IWGB’s argument was the right to bargain collectively is an essential element of Article 11 of the ECHR. The IWGB had argued that, in light of Article 11, the definition of “worker”, within section 296 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, should be construed in such a way that did not exclude delivery drivers from exercising these rights. The CAC had simply not engaged with this argument.

The High Court will hear the IWGB's application for judicial review in the coming months.


Kate Harrison is representing the Union with John Hendy QC, Katharine Newton and Madeline Stanley of Old Square Chambers.

The decision has been reported in the press available at: