The Netherlands: Platform Economy Regulations


The Dutch court has decided in January 2019 that independent contractors working for Deliveroo have the right to an employment contract. Because of this decision, the general labour regulation should apply to these workers. For example, Deliveroo has to pay them a minimum wage. Moreover, the collective agreement for the transport of professional goods applies to them. Source

According to an earlier verdict by the court of Amsterdam in July 2018, delivery people working for Deliveroo were seen as independent contractors. That court decision was based on the written agreement between the worker and Deliveroo. For this new decision, however, the court has looked into the actual working conditions. According to the freelance agreement, the worker is allowed to let someone else do his job and to freely accept or deny delivery orders. Nevertheless, the court found that, in practice, the worker does not have this freedom. The worker's position would be harmed if he should invoke these contract clauses.

Uber drivers are currently seen as independent contractors. The Uber app connects private drivers to users. When drivers use the app, they have to accept Uber’s terms and conditions, but they can cancel their involvement with Uber at any given moment. Drivers cannot establish their own rates, as true entrepreneurs would, but are bound by a maximum rate. However, they can choose their own working hours. Due to Dutch regulations for taxi drivers, Uber drivers have to own a special license plate, a taxi permit and a driver card.

As Uber drivers are also not seen as regular workers, the general labour regulation does not apply to them. Uber sees itself as a service that matches supply and demand, not as a employer. Any Dutch regulation or court verdict have still to be established. Since January 2019, though, the municipality of Amsterdam tries to work out healthy working conditions with Uber for their drivers. Uber drivers in Amsterdam are involved in more accidents than other taxi drivers. This might relate to (the lack of control over) their long working hours.

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