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Just Eat boosts terms for couriers in game-changing move for gig economy work

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ust Eat today launched what could be the biggest improvement yet in working conditions for the 3 million UK people in the gig economy.

The home delivery food group said it would switch to giving couriers hourly pay rather than pay- per-job, bringing increased security of income for staff for the first time.

This will mean everybody is on the minimum or living wage. It will also pay pension contributions, holiday pay, sick pay and maternity or paternity pay.

Central London will be the first area to get the new terms, followed by Birmingham and other cities next year.

UK managing director Andrew Kenny said: “From our experience in other markets, we know many couriers value the benefits and protections our new model offers.”

The move could trigger a step change in improved conditions for its army of delivery drivers and throws down a gauntlet to rivals such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

Unions have been pressing for such reforms, with calls getting ever louder after demand plummeted in April due to the covid pandemic when some riders complained they were not making enough money to live off.

Under the Just Eat plan, it will have full and part time workers, but many are expected to be on zero hours contracts.

Rivals said the move could also prove controversial with some staff if it means they get paid less than they do now on busy times such as Friday nights.

They also questioned whether it meant Just Eat staff would be prevented from working for other firms. Savvy couriers can earn £15 an hour or more in busy times, picking up the lucrative orders for UberEats, Deliveroo and Just Eat.

Just Eat staff will, however, be able to opt out of the new system and continue to work on that basis as independent contractors if they wish to do so.

The government-commissioned Taylor Review into the gig economy in 2017 called for more security of employment and recommended using the minimum wage as a way of ensuring employees were not being exploited, with too few rights.

However, it also said flexibility was highly valued by both employees and employers, as many workers fit their gig economy jobs around other commitments such as study or family.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the Royal Society of the Arts, who led the report, said: “This looks like a fundamental and very welcome shift in the business model of Just Eat and one that I hope others will follow.”

He said it represented a fundamental improvement in protections for workers, and should mean Just Eat will now have to pay National Insurance contributions.

Just Eat’s move could put pressure on Deliveroo to respond even as it prepares for a stock market flotation next year.

Deliveroo founder Will Shu has stressed that his couriers are offered a “very different type of work” to traditional employment. 

This week he told CNBC: “The average Deliveroo rider works on our platform anywhere from 10 to 14 hours a week. And they value that flexibility, very, very highly, and that is something that draws riders to the platform.”

A Deliveroo spokesman today said: “Deliveroo offers self-employed work because this gives riders the flexibility they tell us they value above all else. 

“Over 80% of riders say that the freedom to choose when and where to work is their primary reason for riding with Deliveroo. 

“Deliveroo currently works with 50,000 riders in the UK, with thousands applying each week, a reflection of the growing popularity of on-demand work. 

“An employment model would deny riders the ability to control their own work patterns. ”

Just Eat merged with Takeaway.com of the Netherlands earlier this year.

Takeup of the new employment terms has been high on the continent, it said, where it already operates in 150 cities..

Couriers will be provided with branded clothing and equipment, while its new electric bikes are already becoming a common feature of the London scene.

Just Eat said the new contracts would also see it create more than 1000 jobs by the end of March.

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UK – Deliveroo riders strike over pay, gig work conditions (Associated Press)

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08 April 2021

Riders for the meal delivery work services platform Deliveroo held a strike in London yesterday over pay and working conditions, part of a broader backlash against one of the UK’s biggest gig economy companies, reports the Associated Press. Socially distanced protests were also planned in York, Reading, Sheffield and Wolverhampton to demand fair pay, safety protections and basic workers’ rights. The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain, which represents migrant and gig workers, expected hundreds of riders to take part. Deliveroo said that “this small self-appointed union does not represent the vast majority of riders who tell us they value the total flexibility they enjoy.” Rider surveys found most are happy with the company and flexibility was their priority, the company said in a statement.

The strike coincides with the first day of unconditional share trading for Deliveroo, which went public last week in a debut that saw the company lose nearly 30% of their value. However, a number of institutional investors skipped the IPO, citing concerns about employment conditions for riders and a dual-class shareholder structure that gives founder Will Shu outsize control.

The company saw its business boom over the past year because of Covid-19 restrictions that powered demand for meal deliveries. Riders say they haven’t been sharing in the success because the company has been paying them less. Deliveroo and other gig companies in the UK that rely on flexible workforces are also facing looming regulatory challenges, after the Supreme Court recently ruled Uber drivers should be classed as “workers” and not self-employed, entitling them to benefits such as minimum wage and pensions.

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Winter Games gig tough job for French ice master

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Remy Boehler is just one step away from realizing his Olympic dream in China, as the French ice master has been invited to lead the Capital Gymnasium’s ice-making team in preparations for the Beijing 2022 Winter Games.

“Everything is good,” Boehler said before his team set the first ice surface transition underway during the “Experience Beijing” Ice Sports Testing Program running through April 10.

“Everybody has a lot of jobs for making good ice, and I think it’s a good point for preparing the Games,” added the 44-year-old, who said three years ago in PyeongChang 2018, his third Winter Games, that he’s quite willing to serve the next Olympics.

Like every previous Olympic Winter Games, the Beijing 2022 figure skating and short track speed skating competitions will be staged on the same rink in the 53-year-old Capital Gymnasium, which has been newly renovated.

From Boehler’s point of view, however, it’s not the same at all, since figure skaters need “softer” ice to better support jumps while short track speed skaters favor harder ice for increased speed.

To meet the requirement of both sports, Boehler and his team have to adjust the ice temperature from minus 3-4 degrees Celsius for figure skating to minus 6-7 degrees for short track.

“This is the only venue that has to switch between two sports in the middle of a day, which gives us huge stress during these testing events,” said Ding Dong, head of the Capital Gymnasium venue operation team, explaining why they arranged seven transitions in six testing days.

With the most recently updated Beijing 2022 schedule seeing both figure skating and short track events on one competition day, while the rest of the days have the two sports every other day, the challenges to the field of play transition are mounting.

“The transition involves many aspects around the rink, including the conversions of some temporary facilities, like the starting station and the protective pads. The photo positions will differ as well.

“But, ice is above every other thing. It’s also the most difficult part,” echoed Shen Ling, transition manager of the CG venue operation team.

As short track and figure skating won China the most gold medals at the Winter Games, the two sports have a solid fan base in the host country, possibly leading to a more complicated situation for Boehler’s team, seeing that the Capital Gymnasium will be often fully packed at Olympic time.

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New Chart Positions In Gig App Provider Ranking

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Unemployment claims are up one week, down the next in the topsy-turvy world after COVID-19. Where does that leave gig workers? In the driver’s seat, as this update to PYMNTS’ Provider Ranking of Gig Economy Apps tells us loud and clear.

Not only are there gigs, but it’s never been easier to pull up those postings on your smartphone and peruse them like a restaurant menu. Makes getting a gig a whole lot simpler. We’ve got a job, so get out the Ranking Machine for the Provider Ranking of Gig Economy Apps.

The Top Five

Our four top-ranked apps seem to have entrenched to some degree (although you never know).

Still at No. 1 is DoorDash, donating a million bucks to driver’s charities in April, followed as usual by Uber Driver at No. 2.

Instacart Shopper needs no assistance from customer service at its No. 3 spot — and for that matter, neither does the Fiverr freelance marketplace app, keeping busy at No. 4.

Now for a changeup to close out this section: Amazon Flex moves up one spot to enter the top 5 at No. 5.

The Top 10

At No. 6, we find the Upwork app down one chart position from last month, with self-explanatory app Freelancer also dropping one position to land at No. 7.

Rideshare legend Lyft likes preferred parking at No. 8, just where we left it last time.

Hare beats tortoise, as it were, as the TaskRabbit app jumps up a spot to No. 9, pushing the mighty Grubhub for Drivers to No. 10 and completing this edition of the Provider Ranking of Gig Economy Apps.

That’s what we call part of a full day’s work.

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NEW PYMNTS STUDY: OPEN BANKING 2021 

About The Study: Open banking-powered payment offerings have been available in some markets since 2018, but the pandemic drove many consumers to try these solutions for the first time — and there’s no going back. In the Open Banking Report, PYMNTS examines open banking’s rise as merchants and payment services providers worldwide tap into such options to offer secure, seamless account-to-account payments.



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