Deliveroo MP enquiry can act as IR35 warning for recruiters

Deliveroo MP enquiry can act as IR35 warning for recruiters

Deliveroo are under the cosh as of late. Last week, a union was given the green light for a high court challenge over the delivery firm’s use of self-employment contracts and now the gig economy employer’s hiring conditions are set to face scrutiny too – The Guardian reports.

Frank Field MP, Chairman of the work and pensions committee, will gather evidence over what type of conditions workers are recruited into as well as their pay and conditions.

This confirmation is mere days after The Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) won full judicial review of a ruling which previously found that Deliveroo drivers were independent contractors.

Field will look at the conditions riders and drivers at Hermes, Uber, DPD and Parcelforce endure. His study will also look at riders who work for Deliveroo. Furthermore, he blasted these employers for using ‘bogus self-employment’.

He said: “The weight of the evidence I’ve seen shows that bogus self-employment is being peddled by those who benefit so handsomely from the gig economy, to avoid the obligations they have to their workforce.”

Whist many will welcome Field’s enquiry, arguments regards IR35 and genuine self-employment – many which will have worried recruiters – mean that hirers have to be aware of what type of worker classification is applicable to their candidates.

Speaking exclusively to Recruitment Grapevine, Seb Maley, CEO at Qdos Contractor suggested that the case highlights the need for nuance in debates around the gig economy and wider use of contractors.

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He said: “In many cases, gig economy workers need employment rights and a certain amount of protection. And the Taylor Review alluded to this, calling for the creation of the ‘dependent contractor’ status.

“It’s vital however, that we don’t confuse the needs of dependent contractors - or gig economy workers as they are commonly known - with freelancers or contractors, many of whom would prefer to work entirely independently, and without employment benefits."

"The day-rates, skill-sets and wants and needs of these two sets of workers are quite different.”

And for recruiters, its about ensuring they know the rules and keep up to date with important updates – either regards tax status setting or in high-profile case studies such as the Deliveroo case.

“Following a change of rules in the public sector, recruiters now play a role in setting the IR35 status of the contractors they place,” Maley added. “For agencies to be sure of setting these statuses accurately, and to protect their own liability, HMRC must consider simplifying the rules so the boundaries between employment and self-employment are clearer."

Comments (1)

  • W
    Tue, 19 Jun 2018 8:25am BST
    Just trying to make everyone employed so they can collect more money from companies and individuals.Been Freelance for 20 years now a lot of time They try and put you into IR35 without even knowing what they are doing. This means you work through am umbrella company paying even more and paying the umbrella company a fee .

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