Coronavirus UK: Deliveroo introduces rider hardship fund and 'no contact drop off'

Tom McArthur
Page editor
Deliveroo is informing customers of it's app feature of requesting riders to drop off their delivery at the door, avoiding hand contact. (Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Deliveroo has introduced a rider hardship fund and a “no contact drop-off service” as concern grows about the coronavirus pandemic in the UK.

The app-based food delivery company said in an email to subscribers on Thursday they are “launching a no-contact drop-off service which will mean you can request in the app that your rider leaves the the food on your doorstep – removing the need for direct contact for both parties."

Deliveroo said: “There’s a lot we still don’t know about coronavirus, but health authorities have been clear that maintaining good hygiene is absolutely critical.”

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Restaurants using the service will be provided with extra packaging and stickers to make sure food is properly protected from the elements.

The company says they are working with Public Health England and have launched a fund to help their riders who may be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The fund will let riders who can’t work access financial support whilst they recover.

Deliveroo said: “We want to ensure they stay safe while working, so riders who are diagnosed with coronavirus and find that they are unable to work during this period are eligible for financial support.

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“Throughout this time, we’ll be relentlessly focussed on doing everything we can to support the restaurants and riders working with us, and to bring you safe deliveries from the best restaurants across the country.”

The rights of self-employed workers have come under significant scrutiny in recent weeks. Some face a choice between losing their income for following official advice to self-isolate and risking others’ health by continuing to work.

The UK government promised on Wednesday to speed up access to the welfare system and loosen requirements for such workers entitled to benefits, but has faced calls to go further.

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