The Law Society of England and Wales has stepped into the row over unfair contract terms in the ‘gig economy’ by welcoming reports that delivery business Deliveroo has removed a controversial clause from contracts with delivery riders. 

The clause aimed to prevent Deliveroo riders from challenging their self-employed status at the employment tribunal, and required the rider to pay Deliveroo’s costs if they did make a claim.

‘Attempting to block people from enforcing their rights through the employment tribunal is just plain wrong,’ Law Society president Robert Bourns said today. ‘Our rights at work – whether as a contractor, a worker, or an employee – are not negotiable, they are the minimum standard that society expects of how we are treated in the workplace.’

He added: ‘We’re glad that Deliveroo has bowed to pressure and removed this clause, recognising that everyone must be free to seek justice through the courts when they feel they have been wronged.’

Deliveroo was one of the businesses cited by Frank Field, chair of the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee, last month when he attacked ‘gibberish’ clauses in self-employment contracts. 

In a case to be heard later this month, the Central Arbitration Committee will determine the employment status of Deliveroo riders. It follows an application by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain.