Drivers delivering food for restaurants through Deliveroo are seeking greater workers rights following a high-profile court case which handed Uber drivers worker status.
A group of drivers has asked the startup to recognise the union and give it collective bargaining rights over issues such as pay and hours, the BBC reports.
The Independent Workers Union (IWGB) which represents some drivers, has said it will take the matter to an employment tribunal if Deliveroo rejects the demand. Self-employed workers are not legally entitled to collective bargaining rights like employees or workers.
Such a case could potentially set a similar precedent as the Uber case, the union claims.
"To do this the tribunal will also have to decide that the Deliveroo drivers are workers and not independent contractors, which means they will also be entitled to paid holiday, minimum wage, and all the other rights associated with this employment status," general secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee told the BBC.
A landmark tribunal last month ruled two Uber drivers are workers and not self-employed due to the nature of the work. Uber is appealing the decision, but if it's upheld it could have an impact on the status of thousands of workers in the so-called gig economy legal experts have said.
"As Deliveroo continues to grow, we are committed to providing great opportunities for UK riders, with the flexible work riders value, and a payment model which is fair, rewarding and better matches riders' time with our customers’ orders," the startup said in a statement, saying the trial of a new pay per delivery structure had received positive feedback from the drivers involved.
"We have been in close and regular contact with our riders throughout the trial and as you would expect we will be writing directly to our riders to inform them of the next steps as the trial comes to an end. The feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive and we welcome the opportunity to further engage with riders, policymakers and the unions as the sharing economy in Britain continues to grow.”
Deliveroo had previously said it would not engage with union representatives and only speak to drivers directly when it was embroiled in a row over changes to pay.