Riders out in the cold as Just Eat cut 1700 delivery jobs

A low-capacity scooter riding in London
A low-capacity scooter riding in London

Fast food takeaway giants Just Eat have announced that around 1700 couriers could lose their jobs across six cities in the UK, as the firm move away from a worker model in an attempt to streamline delivery operations.

“Just Eat UK is reorganising and simplifying its delivery operation as part of the ongoing goal of improving efficiency,” a spokesperson said. “As part of this process we have proposed to transition away from the worker model for couriers, which is a small part of our overall delivery operations – running in certain parts of six UK cities. There will be no impact to the service provided to partners and customers.”

They continued: “Our top priority now is to support impacted employees and couriers. We are hugely grateful to our talented colleagues and couriers who have been part of the worker model in the UK.”

Opting instead for more self-employed independent gig workers, who typically work as freelancers or contractors, the move will see the firm closing down their ‘Scoober’ hubs subject to consultation – which is where courier staff currently start and end shifts, as well as store delivery vehicles like scooters and e-bikes.

Having only launched this model of working in parts of London back in December 2020, the 1700 delivery workers that are now being laid off have been given six weeks’ notice with pay. Just Eat say the Scoober model accounts for a single digit percentage of their overall UK delivery operations, but will remain in place in certain parts of Europe.