Goodbye Deliveroo… Sincerely, Toilet Man.

Hi, I’m Toilet Man.

For the past two months, I have been taking a stand against restaurants and takeaways who violate health and safety law. Specifically, Regulations 20 & 21 of the Workplace (Health and Safety) Regulations 1992, which stipulates that restaurants who provide a delivery service must provide access to toilet facilities, cold water and soap to any delivery courier who conducts any work for them. However, despite a joint letter by the Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport reiterating the legal requirement and even stipulating further that due to COVID-19, the regulations are even more important, restaurants have continued to violate the regulations. This is despite reminders from Deliveroo (who claim to have sent reminders to restaurants).

This has led to stories – obviously by the Sun about a ‘grotty Uber Eats driver’ taking a poo outside and another recent story about a ‘Deliverpoo driver’ taking a poo at the side of a business.

Well, if restaurants are failing to abide by the rules; the Health and Safety Executive isn’t enforcing the rules; Deliveroo and Uber Eats and Just Eat appear to take no enforcement action… as the saying goes “if you got-to go, you got-to go”

As somebody with a genuine medical condition that may require the use of a toilet at any time and being a holder of a bowel & bladder society card and radar key, working for Deliveroo for the past nine months has been a serious challenge for me.

Eventually, I had enough of being denied access to the toilet, with scrupulous restaurants claiming that because of COVID, they’re not allowing anybody in. Yet, they’re happy to accept the services of delivery couriers and benefit from the only business that they’re able to undertake.  

I started to take video recordings of restaurants who deny me access to the toilet. In fact, in most of these videos, I don’t actually need the toilet at all, it’s after hearing of somebody else being refused access that I go in to intervene. 

It started with a branch of KFC in Clapham Junction. They not only denied access, they started to ignore me, refused to hand over the order and I was left embarrassed in front of other riders.   

KFC isn’t an isolated incident. In total, I’ve sent over 20 letters of complaint to restaurants and head-offices of chain stores. There are some that I won’t mention, but others include:

  • Gourmet 2 Restaurant in Tooting Bec. Things got pretty heated. Here is the video
  • Burger King, Balham. Here is the video
  • Franco Manca, Northcote Road. Here is the video

Of the incidents above:

  • Gourmet 2, part of the ‘AYA’ chain, refused to respond to my complaint. Instead, Wandsworth Council issued them a warning.
  • Burger King head office said that they will remind all franchisees of their legal duty.
  • Franco Manca’s press team said that this was ‘human error’ and that allowing delivery drivers toilet usage is in their risk assessment and they are sorry.

I have also complained about:

  • Camile Thai, Tooting Bec – They say that their toilet was ‘out of order’ that day and they don’t allow riders to use staff toilets.
  • Haché Burgers, Balham – This was the best apology I received, the operations director was genuinely apologetic and this was down to a misunderstanding by the manager, who also offered an apology.
  • KFC, Clapham Junction – The KFC care squad apologised and even offered me a £15 voucher. However, I received an (unverified) report from another rider that a week later, they still refused toilet access.

During the course of my campaign I’ve been abused, sworn at, threatened, and even assaulted. This in-particular happened at Gourmet 2

My most memorable day has got to be FIVE GUYS and my experience there. The branch in Clapham Common gained me the title of ‘TOILET MAN’ on Reddit…and I like that, it has an edge to it!

There’s also another reason why my FIVE GUYS experience was particularly awful. It’s where, the previous month, I was called “Oi Deliveroo boy” by a manager because I was trying to stand underneath the store, away from the rain. I was then assaulted by the security guard (the same one who dealt with the toilet refusal) as he tried to grab my phone out of my hand and push me. 

Yesterday (on the 17th of February 2021) a sting turned pretty nasty. There’s a restaurant called ‘SAPORA’ located in Lavender Hill. On Deliveroo, they trade as ‘Pasta Evangelists’. Again, to test whether they’ll let me use the toilet, I asked… but this time… was pushed out of the store, had a door pushed into me which caused me to lose balance and then, to top everything off… the store manager called the police to claim that I was being aggressive. 

You all know from my first article on this blog that my relationship with the police is somewhat…meh…

And so, yes, I’ve made a complaint to the police…and I’ve made a complaint to Deliveroo, but… from that, I decided that today, I’m going to hang up the turquoise jacket and start to focus on what matters most… my day job, my campaign for justice, equality and human rights…and of course, my little pooch. This video is available to view here

It reminded me of the time that a restaurant called ‘Indian Room’ kidnapped me and held me against my will… (no, seriously). Check this out

However, there is some good news about the ‘FIVE GUYS incident’ day… Later that evening, I was assigned an order to a restaurant called beWYLD in Streatham. I hadn’t been there before, but… the owner pretty much restored my faith in humanity…

Toilet man, was finally able to use the toilet. 

And with that…

Toilet Man, signing off Deliveroo… for good. 

But, this is a human rights campaign, and I’m not going to let my fellow riders – friends, sisters and brothers… be left alone. I’ve created a petition on the Parliament website which is going through a review stage at the moment, urging the Government to provide more powers to the HSE and local authorities to enforce this situation.

I’ve also written to the HSE Chief Executive’s office as well as to Will Shu, CEO of Deliveroo and created a change.org petition, hoping to gain some momentum on this issue.

And of course, I’ve created a little template letter and some advice below for my fellow riders to use.

If you’re a food delivery courier and have been refused access, use this letter to complain to the restaurant concerned. If you e-mail the company, copy in “will@deliveroo.co.uk” or “dara@uber.com” or “jitse.groen@takeaway.com” (Just Eat).

Also copy in the Chief Executive of the HSE “sarah.albon@hse.gov.uk”

Dear Sir / Madam,  

Re:  Breach of Health and Safety Law

I am writing to you to raise an issue about: [Insert store name here]

On [Date], whilst on shift with [Deliveroo / Just Eat / Uber Eats], at approximately [time] hours, I was allocated a delivery with the above branch. 

Upon entering the store, I identified myself as a courier and asked for access to the toilet, which was refused. I was in desperate situation and required immediate access to the toilet and hand-washing facilities, which you are legally obliged to provide.   

**[Explain anything else that happened / names / details of staff / confrontation / etc…]**

You will no doubt be aware of a joint letter produced by the Health and Safety Executive and DFT as published here:

Click to access dft-hse-letter-drivers-facilities.pdf

Access to use of toilet and water facilities is a fundamental human right. Furthermore, you are legally obligated under Regulations 20 and 21 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 to provide easy and safe access to toilets and hand washing facilities to couriers as indicated on the above HSE and DFT joint letter. The Coronavirus pandemic does NOT exempt you from this obligation and in fact, refusing to provide access during this time is an aggravating factor as highlighted in the DFT and HSE letter as cited above. 

Your store has flagrantly disregarded the law and your staff have demonstrated scant regard towards delivery couriers to which your business relies upon. You will also be aware that Deliveroo have notified you on numerous occasions your legal obligation in various letters to you, as confirmed by them. I will therefore be reporting this matter to [Deliveroo [or UE/JE] as well as to the local authority public health department. 

Breaching basic Health and Safety guidance is not only unlawful but places me and the health and safety of the public at significant risk. 

Furthermore, by cancelling an order, you have also delayed the delivery for a waiting customer. *[if applicable]

I would like an apology as well as formal acknowledgement that you intend to remind ALL of your stores in the UK of their legal requirements under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, to provide suitable toilet and hand washing facilities to drivers visiting their premises. 

I look forward to your prompt response on this matter. I would like to keep a complete record of this case, so please reply to this email address.

Yours faithfully,  

*Rider Name*

Independent Courier   

Then, my suggestion is to report it to the local council. The best way to do this is to find out what local council is responsible. Firstly, head over to www.scoresonthedoors.org.uk and search for the restaurant. The website will tell you which local authority is responsible for that restaurant.

Then, Google “local authority name // health and safety” and make a complaint from there. Here’s a template letter you can use for your complaint:

Dear Sir / Madam,  

Re:  Breach of Health and Safety Law

I am writing to you to raise an issue about: [Insert store name here] which is located in your authority area. The address of the restaurant is [Insert store address]

On [Date], whilst on shift with [Deliveroo / Just Eat / Uber Eats], at approximately [time] hours, I was allocated a delivery with the above branch. 

Upon entering the store, I identified myself as a courier and asked for access to the toilet, which was refused. I was in desperate situation and required immediate access to the toilet and hand-washing facilities, which, as you know, they are legally obliged to provide under Regulations 20 and 21 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

[if applicable] This incident has left me feeling…

[if applicable] This is not the first time…

I look forward to your prompt response on this matter and for immediate enforcement action to take place.

Yours faithfully,  

*Rider Name*

If you can and have the time to do it – search for the relevant Cabinet Members and Councillors for that council area and copy them into the e-mail.

And on that note, please don’t forget to sign my change.org petition.

Ride safe fellow riders.

Toilet Man…

…rather, Sabbir Malik – human rights, diversity, equality & legal activist.

3 thoughts on “Goodbye Deliveroo… Sincerely, Toilet Man.

  1. Thanks for the template complaint letters I sent a complaint about a Pizza Hut in Luton over the weekend waiting to hear back from them..!

    Like

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