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Takeaway drivers’ real-terms pay per order ‘dropped by up to 13% last year’

The delivery driver that brought takeaways to your door last year was paid less for every order in 2022 than the year before, even as the cost of living soared.

New data released on Monday suggests that delivery drivers working with four of the biggest companies saw their pay per order drop by an average of 2.5% last year. This is before inflation was even taken into account.

The figures, supplied to the PA news agency by Rodeo, show pay dropped between 0.3% and 6.1% for drivers with Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Stuart and Just Eat.

On a real-terms basis, which takes into account inflation, pay fell between 8.4% and 13.8%.

The biggest decreases were seen at Just Eat (6.1%) and Stuart (2.4%). However these companies still paid more per order – £6.13 and £5.32 respectively – than Deliveroo or Uber Eats.

Deliveroo riders saw their pay drop by 0.3% to £4.51 per order, while Uber Eats riders were paid 1.3% less at £4.31 per order.

Deliveroo rider
The figures show Deliveroo riders saw their pay drop 0.3% to £4.51 per order last year (PA)

A Just Eat spokesperson said: “We provide a highly competitive base rate to self-employed couriers, which is in line with industry standards, and we also offer regular incentives to help them maximise their earnings.

“We continue to review our pay structure regularly and welcome any feedback from couriers.”

Rodeo got the information from more than 10 million orders it tracked. The app is used by gig economy workers to keep track of their earnings across several other apps.

Alfie Pearce-Higgins, Rodeo’s co-founder, said: “Millions of workers across the economy are seeing their pay eroded by the cost-of-living crisis and inflation, and delivery drivers are being hit the hardest.

“Gig work offers flexibility and independence, which many workers welcome.

“But this only works if drivers can make informed, independent decisions.

“Sadly this is often not the case: these platforms use opaque algorithms, change pricing without communicating this to drivers, and rarely make it easy for drivers to access and compare their own data.

“Pay fell last year at all four of the major delivery apps even before inflation was taken into account.

“We believe that gig workers deserve a clear picture so they can choose who is offering the best work opportunities.”

A Deliveroo spokesperson said: “These numbers are incorrect and misleading, based on unverified data.

“Average pay for time Deliveroo riders spend on an order has increased over the past year.

“Deliveroo is the only food delivery platform to have signed a collective bargaining agreement with GMB Union which guarantees that self-employed riders earn at least the national living wage, plus costs, while working while working with us, and the vast majority earn significantly more than that.”

An Uber Eats spokesperson said: “We offer a flexible way for thousands of couriers to earn by using the app when and where they choose.

“We know that the vast majority are satisfied with their experience on the app, however we regularly engage with couriers to look at how we can improve their experience.”