Deliveroo and GMB Respect Charter Launch - Sticker

Source: Deliveroo

Morrisons, The Co-op and Whole Foods are among 30 national restaurant chains and supermarkets to have signed a charter “pledging positive relationships” between Deliveroo riders and food retailers.

The “landmark” agreement – the Respect Charter – contains several principles: treat everyone as you would like to be treated; be courteous; communicate openly; and be patient and open to feedback. Crucically for riders it also commits retailers to “permit access to facilities where applicable” and work to “reduce wait times”.

“Everyone has the right to go about their work safely and be treated with respect,” said Tom Warnett, GMB Deliveroo lead. “Time is money for couriers and a commitment to reducing waiting time is really important.”

Waiting times are a major issue for riders, who aren’t paid for the period they are at a restaurant or store waiting for an order to be prepared. The wait time reduces their hourly earnings.

As is access to loos. Since 2017, businesses that make or receive deliveries are legally obliged to give all couriers access to toilets and handwashing facilities, however in practice this isn’t always the case.

Deliveroo signed a union recognition deal with the GMB Union in 2022; the Voluntary Partnership Agreement giving rider members of GMB rights to collective bargaining on pay and consultation rights on benefits and other issues, including health and safety.

The deal was met with some cynicism among riders, one saying Deliveroo’s choice to partner with GMB over the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), which has pressured Deliveroo into making more significant changes, “seems extremely sketchy”.

“The IWGB are calling for actual reform. Deliveroo obviously don’t want this, so they’ve partnered with a more ‘friendly’ union to take some of the pressure off. It’s basically just a marketing campaign,” another said at the time.

Of the Respect Charter Camilla Kater, SVP of care and rider at Deliveroo said it was “the first of its kind across our industry and demonstrates the positive impact working hand in hand with the GMB Union has had”.

“Our partnership with the GMB is already delivering for our riders and through jointly creating the Respect Charter we have solidified our commitment to create a positive and supportive environment for riders and merchants,” she added.