Just Eat will stop using gig economy workers to deliver food

Just Eat will stop using gig economy workers to deliver food and instead use staff with more workplace protection, firm’s boss says

  • Jitse Groen, chief exec of Dutch food delivery giant, wants to ‘insure our people’
  • Gig workers operate on flexible hours and do not enjoy rights such as sick pay or minimum notice periods
  • Groen wants to give staff more benefits in light of difficulties they’ve faced since Covid lockdown
  • Just Eat Takeaway.com processed 257mn orders in first six months of 2020 as takeaway companies supplied food to people in lockdown 

Jitse Groen (above), CEO of Just Eat Takeaway, said he does not want to have gig economy workers – operating on flexible hours with little workplace protection – delivering for his company in Europe any more

The boss of Just Eat Takeaway said he does not want to have gig economy workers – operating on flexible hours with little workplace protection – delivering for his company in Europe any more.

Jitse Groen, chief executive of the food delivery giant, revealed he would prefer to give his staff more benefits in light of the difficulties they have faced since the coronavirus pandemic. 

His Dutch company, Just Eat Takeaway.com, processed around 257million orders in the first six months of the year as takeaway companies supplied food to people in lockdown.   

Gig economy workers are those in temporary jobs where they do not enjoy rights such as sick pay and minimum notice periods – but also face fewer obligations, such as being able to turn down shifts or quit to focus on study.

Mr Groen said he did not like the idea of his Just Eat workforce – which the company relies on to deliver meals from restaurants  – to have to endure harder working conditions.

‘We’re a large multinational company with quite a lot of money and we want to insure our people. We want to be certain they do have benefits, that we do pay taxes on those workers,’ he told the BBC.

Mr Groen, boss of the Dutch food delivery giant, revealed he would prefer to give his staff more benefits in light of the difficulties they have faced since the coronavirus pandemic. Gig economy workers do not enjoy rights such as sick pay and minimum notice periods – but also face fewer obligations, such as being able to turn down shifts. (File photo)

The rise in the number of people ordering takeaways since the Covid lockdown has seen Just Eat’s revenue rocket – and it has added a record number of new restaurants and customers to its system. 

Active customer numbers have increased from 44million to 54million compared with the same time last year, the company said – and Mr Groen added that customers are also ordering more.

The firm, which was founded in 2000, said its like-for-like pre-tax loss was £109million, on revenue that had increased by 44 per cent to £927million. 

Just Eat Takeaway is in the process of buying US peer Grubhub for £5.6billion – which could lead to Mr Groen hiring a lot more staff. 

The deal is likely to complete in the first half of next year but Mr Groen has not commented further on it.

Millions of Britons have been making the most of the Government’s half-price meals out scheme in the past week. However, Mr Groen said yesterday that the scheme has not damaged his business, saying he is seeing little effect. (Above, Chancellor Rishi Sunak promoting the scheme)

The deal is set to make the company one of the biggest delivery firms in the world outside China. 

Meanwhile, millions of Britons have been making the most of the Government’s half-price meals out scheme in the past week. 

The Eat Out To Help OUt scheme, launched to boost the struggling hospitality sector, entitles diners to 50 per cent off on a meal out on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays this month. The discount is capped at £10 per head.

However, Mr Groen said yesterday that the scheme has not damaged his business, saying he is seeing little effect.  

‘Food delivery is rarely in direct competition with restaurant visits, and that doesn’t change under these circumstances,’ he said.

He added: ‘Restaurants have limited capacity because they can only seat a certain number of people.

‘We don’t believe that there will be a material impact on our figures because of these relief measures from the UK Government.’ 

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