Will Shu hikes salary to £125,000 a year as dispute over workers’ status continues and losses mount at the food delivery company
Will Shu, the boss of Deliveroo, handed himself a 22.5% pay rise last year at the same time as the company spent more than £1.5m on legal fees, partly because of the food delivery firm’s battle over pay and conditions for its thousands of couriers.
Shu, a former investment banker who set up Deliveroo from his London flat in 2013, increased his salary to £124,999 and handed out close to £4.5m in share bonuses to directors and hundreds of other head office staff, despite a 300%-plus widening in losses.
The pay rise also comes as the Central Arbitration Committee investigates whether Deliveroo’s drivers are independent contractors, as the company argues, or whether they should be classified as workers with rights to holiday pay, the national minimum wage and collective bargaining via a union. A group of 20 British riders is seeking compensation in a similar employment tribunal case.
Deliveroo, which now works with 30,000 riders around the world, all of which are treated as self-employed set aside £1.6m for legal costs as it battles workers’ claims..
Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain which is leading the CAC challenge, said: “It’s absolutely absurd that while riders are consistently on low wage and without employment rights, Will Shu sees fit to give himself a £25,000 a year raise. He should focus on the minimum wage and holiday pay first and reward himself later.”
Deliveroo’s revenues soared sevenfold to £128.6m in the year to 31 December 2016 as it expanded operations in the UK and overseas to 25,000 restaurants in more than 140 cities and 12 countries. But pre-tax losses climbed to £129m from £30.13m a year before. Deliveroo’s UK business alone made a loss of just over £46m.
Deliveroo’s cash resources stood at nearly £180m at the end of last year after the company raised £209m in new funding from the issue of shares.
Accumulated losses at the food delivery firm, which is reportedly attempting to raise new funds in a deal that could value the business at as much as $1.5bn, have now hit nearly £163m.
A spokesperson for Deliveroo said: “Deliveroo is going from strength to strength, with revenue jumping by over 600% across our global markets in 2016.
“Deliveroo is investing heavily in new technology and our innovative delivery-only Editions kitchens across the world.”