In a decision that will put the willies up some ‘gig employers’, Deliveroo was ordered to reinstate a rider after a Fair Work tribunal ruled he was unfairly dismissed and was not an independent contractor.
Commissioner Ian Cambridge ruled Mr Franco had been unfairly dismissed with no valid reason and the dismissal was “harsh, unjust and unreasonable”.
Commissioner Cambridge said Mr Franco was an employee as he “was not carrying on a trade or business of his own or on his own behalf.”
He said, “the level of control that Deliveroo possessed” represented a relationship of employment rather than independent contracting.
Diego Franco worked as a food delivery rider for Deliveroo for three years when he was sacked by email last April.
Deliveroo said Mr Franco frequently took “significantly longer” than expected to complete “a high number” of deliveries, according to an email it sent him on April 23.
It said he had previously been “notified” of his performance issues, and tore up his contract.
Mr Franco argued he was unfairly dismissed as he actually didn’t receive any “notification” or warning from the company before he was terminated with seven days’ notice.
Commissioner Cambridge ordered Deliveroo to reinstate Mr Franco and repay lost earnings.
Almost all workers for food delivery platforms such as Deliveroo are classified as independent contractors. They don’t have access to the same protections as employees such as unfair dismissal, sick leave and the minimum wage.
Deliveroo planned to appeal the decision because they’re frightened of having to make the whole delivery workforce employees with superannuation, holiday pay and more.
(The image with this story is not of Mr Franco)