Just Eat uses algorithm to fire employees
Occurred: April 2023
A report by Worker Info Exchange shows JustEat takeaway drivers are being fired by algorithm with little explanation and ability to challenge the system's decisions.
The couriers reported being 'deactivated for minor overpayments’, with some being shown the door by the company for one or two overpayments when they had made thousands of deliveries. Just Eat claimed drivers had wrongly recorded themselves as waiting for an order, while GPS coordinates showed them straying away from the restaurant.
Meantime, JustEat workers complained of the inaccuracy and unreliability of JustEat's systems, including its GPS, and the 'disarray' caused by poor customer prioritisation and order preparation software.
Most Just Eat couriers are classified as independent, self-employed contractors. In March 2023, the company announced it would lay off 1,700 drivers as its business started to slow down.
Operator: Just Eat
Developer: Just Eat
Purpose: Manage workers
Technology: Automated management system
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Employment; Ethics
Transparency: Governance; Black box
Duggan J. et al (2023). Algorithmic HRM control in the gig economy: The app-worker perspective
Griesbach K. et al (2019). Algorithmic Control in Platform Food Delivery Work
Investigations, assessments, audits
News, commentary, analysis
Published: June 2023