Deliveroo orders in lobbying help
Takeaway delivery firm turns to Teneo Blue Rubicon.
Deilveroo is stepping up its UK lobbying as MPs prepare to investigate pay and working conditions in the informal gig economy.
The takeaway delivery company is one of a number of companies in the spotlight for their use of self-employed workers, who have fewer rights than staff members.
The firm hit the headlines in the summer after telling its couriers they could not go to court to try to be recognised as staff members with the firm. It also became embroiled in a row over pay with its couriers.
Now PAN has established that Deliveroo has turned to Teneo Blue Rubicon for lobbying help. It is understood that the agency started working on the business last month, but sources at Teneo Blue Rubicon declined to explain their brief.
The successful public affairs firm recently hired David Cameron’s former communications chief Craig Oliver as a senior managing director. It is not clear whether or not Oliver is working on the Deliveroo account.
Deliveroo has also recently hired a number of former consultants from MHP Communications, the UK’s biggest public affairs firm, to work in-house on its UK public and corporate affairs strategy.
In October, the firm recruited David Ross as head of international corporate affairs, based in London. He previously spent over 4 years as a consultant at MHP.
Earlier this year, Breffney Cogan joined as corporate communications and policy lead, having previously been an account manager at MHP. Another former MHP account manager, Sinead Coogan Jobes, joined Deliveroo as rider communications and policy manager in the summer.
Deliveroo’s public affairs activity is being ramped up as the Commons business, energy and industrial strategy committee prepares to investigate the rights of workers who are not permanently employed. The investigation is being launched in response to revelations about conditions at Sports Direct and Asos and concerns about treatment of couriers and drivers at Uber, Hermes and Deliveroo. Uber already uses Portland Communications for public affairs.
Committee chair Iain Wright said: “The nature of work is undoubtedly changing. It will change further with growing use of technology and a spreading of automation across the economy.
“This might provide flexibility and choice for some people, but unleash insecurity and squeezed working conditions for others. With these economic and technological changes shaking up the world of work, it’s vitally important that workers are protected.”
The select committee's inquiry is expected to get under way in early 2017.