A breaking judgement was ‘delivered’. All Deliveroo riders are considered as employees. Not self-employed independent contractors, as argued by Deliveroo.
Deliveroo already left the Netherlands late last year, but this will not prevent claims from their former employees. Under Dutch law employees are entitled to payment of a minimal wage, payment of wages during illness, a transition compensation, holidays, holiday allowance, and have other protective laws and regulations they can appeal to. Therefore, we expect a lot of claims.
The Supreme Court ruled that it is considered as employment agreement, because in view of all the facts and circumstances of the cooperation the former riders of Deliveroo are (1.) performing work, (2.) getting paid for this work and (3.) are working under the employers’ control. The court of appeals did a good job by taking a holistic approach in looking at all the facts and circumstances of Deliveroo, according to the Supreme Court. There can still be an employment agreement, even though the work is regulated by a digital platform and there are options for riders to be replaced by other riders. Also, the argument that the work is embedded in the organisation of the employer and is part of the day to day business of the employer, is one element that may be taken into account when qualifying a cooperation as employment agreement or an agreement for services.
Overall, it is now up to the Dutch and European legislator to draft a framework in which regulations are set for “employees” and “independent contractors“. The Dutch legislators aim to come up with definitions en new legislation this summer, which should enter in force per 1 January 2025.
Gite Bright – van der Sluis