Online food delivery organisation Deliveroo has announced that it will introduce a hardship fund for riders that contract Covid-19 (Coronavirus).
Deliveroo riders are classed as self-employed contractors and therefore not eligible for sick pay allowances afforded to employees. The fund will be available to individuals that can produce proof of contracting the virus, although Deliveroo has not yet specified how much these payments will amount to, or how they will be calculated.
The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has highlighted, however, that riders who are sick or self-isolating will likely be unable to claim the payments, as the NHS is advising all those who have symptoms to not contact GP services, meaning that workers will struggle to provide sick notes.
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Alex Marshall, couriers and logistics branch chair at IWGB, said: “Once we pull the curtains on Deliveroo’s announcement on assistance for workers that are sick or self-isolating, it is obvious that behind the PR spin it is more of the same old deceitful tactics.
“Deliveroo and other so-called gig economy employers have to stop blocking their workers’ access to these funds and immediately introduce full contractual sick pay, without pre-conditions. Increasingly, these workers are being expected to play a huge role in feeding people during this time of crisis, so it is time for their employers and the government to give them the basic rights we expect in any decent and just society.”
Deliveroo was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.