When collecting my bike from its annual service recently, five Deliveroo employees were in the store receiving a masterclass on checking and fixing their bikes while on the road.
They were all wearing high quality, Deliveroo-branded cycling gear and looked the part. It prompted me to research how the takeaway delivery business develops its staff.
Critics of the ‘gig economy’ say workers are swapping stable incomes for flexibility and opportunity
Its website advertises “free food, flexible hours and great pay”. But I learned drivers are self-employed, so holiday pay, insurance or the minimum wage aren’t covered. The pay structure is fragmented, varying by location and mode of transport. Cyclists earn £6 an hour plus £1 per drop in Nottingham, or £4 per drop in Watford, for example.
Deliveroo is growing phenomenally and currently has 57 job vacancies in London alone. But a consequence of this is summed up in damning fashion by a former employee on a job site message board: “The company is run by inexperienced management paid peanuts to manage hundreds of delivery people. They simply can’t cope with the pressure of taking care of what makes the company money: its delivery team.”
Technology startups like Deliveroo and Uber may be changing our lives with low-cost and convenient services, but what impact are they having on the future of the workplace?
Critics of the ‘gig economy’, where freelance staff jostle for work and complete tasks for small payments, say workers are swapping stable incomes for flexibility and opportunity, but with it comes uncertainty and a race to the bottom.
While there are legitimate concerns about the effect the National Living Wage and auto-enrolment will have on your business, Deliveroo’s model further highlights how valuable employers who invest in their staff really are. After all, how many of these drivers would love to have the wages and conditions you offer?