The managing director of Deliveroo in the UK has told MPs that bolstering the employment rights of its riders would add about £1 to each food order.

Dan Warne made his comments while giving evidence to the Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee, which has been examining working practices in the “gig economy”, where workers have no fixed hours or contract.

He told the committee that the cost of providing rights to workers would be borne by customers ordering takeaways.

Uber also told the committee that employing its 50,000 self-employed drivers would cost the company millions of pounds a year.

Andrew Byrne, Uber’s head of policy, said: “I don’t have the precise figures … but I’m certain it would be the tens of millions, certainly.”

Both companies have been forced to defend their treatment of workers, denying they are exploitative and insisting they give people flexibility.

Uber has approximately 50,000 drivers in the UK, whilst Deliveroo has about 15,000 people on its books.

Warne told MPs that Deliveroo had a high rate of rider departures, despite bowing to pressure earlier this year by overhauling the agreement it uses to set out the terms on which its riders are employed.

Earlier this year, it made calls for the law to be changed to allow sick pay and other benefits so long as riders can maintain flexible worker status.