Just Eat to cut around 1,700 delivery driver jobs
Just Eat Takeaway.com is to lay off over 1,800 staff and scrap a model in which it employs its own couriers as part of a restructure of its UK business.
The food delivery giant said it was looking to improve "efficiency" after its number of orders in the UK and Ireland slumped 10% to 260m last year.
Around 1,700 couriers have been given six weeks' notice with pay while a further 170 jobs in the operational team are also under threat.
Just Eat became the first UK food delivery aggregator to hire delivery drivers as full-time workers in December 2020, although over 90% of its couriers are still self-employed.
Its competitors Deliveroo and UberEats work with couriers on a fully self-employed basis, which Just Eat has said puts it at a competitive disadvantage.
The change in model will see the closure of driver hubs in six cities across the UK.
A Just Eat spokesperson said: "Just Eat UK is reorganising and simplifying its delivery operation as part of the ongoing goal of improving efficiency. As part of this process we have proposed to transition away from the worker model for couriers, which is a small part of our overall delivery operations - running in certain parts of six UK cities. There will be no impact to the service provided to partners and customers.
"Our top priority now is to support impacted employees and couriers. We are hugely grateful to our talented colleagues and couriers who have been part of the worker model in the UK."
Just Eat will continue to employ couriers in continental Europe and plans to expand the programme this year.
Delivery firms have struggled with a drop in demand from customers after a boom in orders during the pandemic.
Last month Deliveroo warned around 350 staff roles were at risk and founder Will Shu admitted it had expanded its team too quickly during lockdown.