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Old Square success in High Court Deliveroo Judicial Review challenge


The Queen (on the application of the Independent Workers of Great Britain) v The Central Arbitration Committee and Roofoods t/a Deliveroo

The High Court has today given the Independent Workers of Great Britain (“the Union”) permission to proceed in this application for judicial review. This is an important case concerning the rights of workers within the “gig economy” to collective bargaining.

The Central Arbitration Committee Decision

The Union represents food delivery drivers, who work for Deliveroo. On 28 November 2016 the Union submitted an application to be recognised for collective bargaining by Deliveroo. Deliveroo opposed the application. In particular Deliveroo argued that the drivers were not “workers” within the meaning of the relevant legislation.

The Central Arbitration Committee (“the CAC”) agreed with Deliveroo. The application for union recognition was rejected on the sole basis that that Deliveroo drivers were not “workers” within the meaning of section 296 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. The Union met all the other criteria for recognition.

Application for Judicial Review

The High Court has today given the Union permission to proceed in an application to judicially review the CAC’s decision.

The Claimant’s argument was the right to bargain collectively is an essential element of Article 11 of the ECHR. The Union had argued that, in light of Article 11, the definition of “worker”, within section 296 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, should be construed in such a way that did not exclude delivery drivers from exercising these rights. The CAC had simply not engaged with this argument.

The High Court gave the Union permission to proceed in its application for judicial review.

John Hendy QC, Katharine Newton and Madeline Stanley represented the Union and were instructed by Kate Harrison of Harrison Grant.


deliveroo, workers rights, employment rights, union, iwgb, gig economy

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Lord (John) Hendy QC

Lord (John) Hendy QC 020 7269 0360 Email

Katharine Newton QC

Katharine Newton QC 020 7269 0357 Email

Madeline Stanley

Madeline Stanley 020 7269 0305 Email

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