Deliveroo inventory surges after courtroom guidelines riders are self-employed

A Deliveroo courier rides along Regent Street delivering takeaway food in central London during Covid-19 Tier 4 restrictions.

Pietro Recchia | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images

LONDON — Shares of British food delivery firm Deliveroo surged over 4% Thursday after a U.K. court ruled that its couriers are self-employed.

It’s a win for the Amazon-backed company, which has been fighting to keep its riders classed as independent contractors for years.

The company’s share price on the London Stock Exchange climbed from £2.51 to around £2.64 on the back of the court ruling.

Some of Deliveroo’s riders argue that they should be classified as employees, which would give them access to benefits like sick pay and holiday pay.

But Deliveroo argues that the contractor model is a better fit as it gives riders the flexibility to work when they want, and for as long as they want.

A Deliveroo spokesperson said the decision marks an important milestone for the company.

“Our message to riders is clear,” they said. “We will continue to back your right to work the way you want and we will continue to listen to you and respond to the things that matter to you most.”

“Deliveroo’s model offers the genuine flexibility that is only compatible with self-employment, providing riders with the work they tell us they value,” they added. “Those campaigning to remove riders’ flexibility do not speak for the vast majority of riders and seek to impose a way of working that riders do not want.”

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