Food delivery startup Deliveroo is introducing new safety measures for its riders to help protect them from violence.
The company will trial helmet-mounted GoPro cameras with its moped and bicycle riders, and has upgraded its employee app so that riders can now raise safety concerns directly with one of 50 safety liaison officers, the company says.
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The announcement comes shortly after a string of acid attacks targeting Londoners, with riders working for Deliveroo and UberEats among the victims in July.
“We will do everything we can to protect our riders and have put in place new measures so that riders can report any concerns they have or even move to work in another area if they feel unsafe,” Dan Warne, Deliveroo’s UK managing director, said in a press statement.
“We are working closely with the police and local councils, and sharing all the information our riders give us in order to help tackle crime against our riders, which is why we’re implementing new measures like our app and helmet-mounted cameras — these will allow us to work together, share information, and bring criminals to justice.”
The company said it is also building the network between its riders and local authorities, including training workshops and feedback sessions for its riders in cooperation with the police and air ambulance service.
The first of these will be held in conjunction with Hackney Council on Thursday, and Deliveroo says these sessions will help it bring criminals to justice.
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The new measures do not change how the company views its drivers, which it does not class as employees. Deliveroo and rival gig economy startups like Uber are increasingly under fire for using casual workers who aren’t entitled to holiday, sick pay, or other workers rights.
In July, a major report on the UK’s working practices recommended that people working for gig economy firms should be treated as ‘dependent contractors’ and receive more employment rights as a result.