Last Mile Brief 20/11: UK Government urges food delivery firms to end unchecked account sharing
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The UK government is urging food delivery companies, including Uber Eats, Deliveroo, and Just Eat, to put an end to unchecked account sharing, a practice known as “substitutions”.
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick has called for stricter controls on all delivery drivers to safeguard the public and prevent illegal working. Currently, delivery companies allow account holders to substitute deliveries to multiple individuals without conducting checks.
This raises concerns as customers have no way of verifying the vetting status of the person delivering their order, and the companies remain unaware of the delivery driver’s right to work in the UK.
Minister Jenrick, in a letter to each online food delivery platform ahead of a meeting, emphasised the need for the substitution business model to cease, highlighting that it facilitates illegal working, promotes exploitation, and poses risks to the British public. The government is specifically calling for the implementation of more rigorous vetting measures by these companies to ensure that their representatives are legally permitted to work in the UK and have no criminal record.
Jenrick pointed out the risks associated with unchecked account sharing, emphasising that when customers order takeaways, they deserve assurance that the delivery personnel has undergone proper vetting.
“Unchecked account sharing places the public at risk, enables – and therefore encourages – illegal migration, and leads to the exploitation of workers. That’s why I’m calling on these companies to end the use of unverified substitution,” Jenrick added.