December 18, 2020
UK-based food delivery platform company Just Eat has announced plans to offer more than 1,000 UK workers benefits including hourly wages, sick pay and pension contributions through use of a staffing agency, a first for any company in the UK gig economy.
Just Eat said it would provide hourly pay above the minimum living wage, as well as other benefits including paid holiday, sick leave, and pension contributions to couriers joining its “Scoober” delivery service.
The company plans to hire more than 1,000 such workers in London by the end of March, with more UK cities to follow next year. The new Scoober drivers would be on a mix of full-time, part-time, and zero-hour contracts, the company said, allowing some to retain more flexible working hours.
The workers will not be employed directly by Just Eat but through the Randstad agency. The company said that the “agency model” allowed it to move more quickly.
“This is the first time a model like this has been operated in the UK,” said Andrew Kenny, UK managing director at Just Eat. The group already takes a similar approach in other European markets. Mr. Kenny said operating costs would rise as a result of the new scheme but Just Eat felt it was the “right thing to do,” adding that “we are in a fortunate position as a successful and profitable business that we are able to do so.”