Exclusive: Deliveroo rider left without pay after self-isolating

"Those who took the right decision and self-isolated with symptoms before [this weekend] hasn't seen a penny."

A Deliveroo rider who chose to isolate himself for seven days because of coronavirus symptoms says he has been left without pay by Deliveroo.

Deliveroo claims to be financially supporting its riders who have followed government advice and not gone into work but one ‘rider’ says he has not been paid a penny.

In a letter to Rachel Reeves, Labour MP and chair of parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee, Deliveroo said: “We will support regular riders who either fall ill with the virus or who are advised by a medical expert to self isolate.” It said they could get £100 a week for two weeks from a “rider support fund”.

However, Deliveroo rider Greg Howard told Left Foot Forward that he and other riders have been unable to gain a sick note from a doctor because GPs have been closed and the NHS 111 service only started giving out sick notes on Saturday, when his self-isolation had ended.

“Anyone like me,” Howard said, “who took the right decision and self-isolated with symptoms before now, hasn’t seen a penny. It’s disgraceful that key workers were ever allowed to fall through the cracks like that in the midst of a global pandemic, with the NHS scrambling to minimise deaths.”

Howard added: “We will never know how many people have been infected as a result. Deliveroo have yet to even acknowledge this has happened – let alone make any commitment to pay us retrospectively.”

Howard, who is secretary of the IWGB union’s courier branch, also said that £100 a week is not enough for many riders to survive off, even alongside Universal Credit.

“It’s too little, too late,” he said. “These so-called ‘hardship funds’ are a plaster on a war wound. The Covid-19 crisis is shining a light on why the basic employment rights we’ve been campaigning for years are so important. Everyone needs and deserves sick pay and a guaranteed minimum wage. No matter how hard corporations try to deny it, in the face of this pandemic society can no longer afford to do so.”

A spokesperson for Deliveroo said: “Deliveroo is committed to providing financial support for riders across the world who are diagnosed with the virus or who are told to be in isolation by a medical authority. We are providing riders with continuous advice on how to stay safe, based on expert guidance. We will continue to explore other ways in which riders can be supported.”

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