Court: Dutch Deliveroo drivers are not self-employed

Meal delivery service Deliveroo has once again lost a court case in the Netherlands about its delivery staff. Also on appeal, the judge ruled that delivery drivers of Deliveroo are not self-employed and should be covered by an employment contract.

Dutch trade union FNV, which had brought the case, is calling on delivery drivers to come forward in order to claim a back-payment from Deliveroo. FNV board member Zakaria Boufangacha: “With an employment contract, the meal delivery workers are entitled to the collective wage, continued payment during illness and are also paid for the time they have to wait at a restaurant.”

Deliveroo decided in 2018 to let employees work for the company as self-employed workers. According to the company, delivery drivers were given the freedom to shape their own work. According to today’s ruling, Deliveroo delivery drivers do indeed have a relatively large amount of freedom, but that does not preclude them from being covered by an employment contract.

Deliverers are automatically paid every two weeks, which according to the court is very similar to an employment contract. There is no possibility for the deliverers to negotiate about the price and the court of appeal thinks that the income, from 11 to 13 Euros per hour, is not enough for deliverers to be properly insured against disability and unemployment.

Two years ago, the court ruled the same in summary proceedings. Deliveroo did not change its working method after that ruling and said that delivery drivers have no need to work under an employment contract. The company has not yet responded to the appeal ruling.

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