Italy: Deliveroo’s long-used algorithm was discriminatory and hindered the right to strike, rules Bologna tribunal

In a ground-breaking ruling passed on 31 December, the employment section of a tribunal in Bologna has judged that an algorithm used by food delivery platform Deliveroo was discriminatory. According to the ruling, which comes after a complaint brought by three affiliate unions of the CGIL (Italian General Confederation of Labour), Deliveroo’s self-service booking system, which was used by riders to reserve time slots to work and gave priority to the top-rated riders, was “blind” as it did not take into account the reasons for rider absence and as a result penalised those who, for example, took part in strike action. Deliveroo has been ordered to pay €50,000 of damages to the unions.

Through . Published on 08 January 2021 à 13h03 - Update on 08 January 2021 à 13h03

How the algorithm worked. The algorithm that was used by Deliveroo until 2 November 2020, less than two months before the tribunal’s ruling, gave priority to the best-rated riders when they made their weekly reservations of time slots in which to work. Riders were rated on the basis of two criteria: reliability – how often they would connect within 15 minutes of the start of the reserved time slot –…

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