- Just Eat Takeaway is pivoting to an employee-based model and will no longer rely on gig workers to power its food delivery business in Europe, the BBC reported this week.
- “We want to be certain they do have benefits, that we do pay taxes on those workers,” Takeaway CEO Jitse Groen told the BBC.
- The company has become one of the world’s largest food delivery companies following its acquisition of Just Eat and its plans to merge with Grubhub.
- Groen’s comments came as Uber, Lyft, and other US-based gig companies are engaged in a heated political and legal battle over the status of their workers.
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Just Eat Takeaway CEO Jitse Groen told the BBC this week that the food delivery company plans to end its reliance on gig workers and implement an employment-based model across Europe.
“We’re a large multinational company with quite a lot of money and we want to insure our people,” Groen said, according to the BBC. “We want to be certain they do have benefits, that we do pay taxes on those workers.”
The BBC reported that Groen had grown concerned about the uncertainties and lack of workplace protections gig workers face that traditional employees don’t, saying: “It’s our intent not to have those in Europe.”
Just Eat and Takeaway did not immediately respond to requests for comment on this story.
Takeaway.com acquired Just Eat in January for approximately $7.7 billion, and Groen now leads the combined company. In June, Grubhub said it plans to merge with the new company as part of a $7.3 billion deal after talks fell through with Uber. The merger would make Just Eat Takeaway the largest food delivery business outside of China.
Groen’s pledge comes as many US-based companies are facing increasing scrutiny over their reliance on gig workers, contractors, and other non-traditional arrangements that allow them to deny workers benefits like healthcare and sick pay, avoid paying into programs like unemployment insurance, and escape the reach of certain labor laws.
As the pandemic has both slashed rideshare income for drivers and dramatically increased the health risks for both rideshare and food delivery drivers, regulators, lawmakers, and the public are paying more attention to how the gig model can threaten workers’ economic and physical security.
Uber and Lyft are currently engaged in an escalating political and legal battle in California, where a court recently ruled that the companies’ drivers are employees under the state’s gig work law AB-5. Both companies are challenging the ruling and are hoping to persuade voters to pass a ballot measure this fall that would exempt them from the law.
Axel Springer, Insider Inc.’s parent company, is an investor in Uber.