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Labour Council’s view to affect food couriers

Published : 16 Oct 2020, 23:25

Updated : 17 Oct 2020, 01:24

  DF Report

Photo source : Wolt.

Employment Minister Tuula Haatainen said the status of thousands of people who work in the food courier service will be affected by the Labour Council’s opinion.

The minister also assumed that the companies will now carry out an assessment in this regard, said a press release of the employment ministry.

“Although the opinions of the Labour Council are not binding, they nevertheless offer important guidelines. The status of thousands of people who work in the platform economy in Finland will be affected by the Council’s opinion. I assume that companies will now carry out this kind of assessment,” said Haatainen.

Earlier, the Labour Council issued two opinions concerning the legal status of food couriers working in the platform economy.

According to the Labour Council, the food couriers of the companies that were the subject of the request for opinions are considered employees and fall within the scope of application of the Working Hours Act.

“In its Government Programme, the government committed itself to examining the need for legislative changes from the perspective of the transformation of work. The platform economy is at the heart of this work, and the Labour Council’s opinion will be taken into account in the preparation,” added the minister.

The Regional State Administrative Agency requested opinions from the Labour Council regarding the application of the Working Hours Act to food couriers of two companies. The key issue was whether a food courier should be considered an employee or an entrepreneur.

The companies have viewed food couriers as independent entrepreneurs who are not subject to employment legislation.

The Labour Council, on the other hand, considered that the characteristics of an employment relationship were fulfilled in the work of food couriers. The Labour Council voted on the decision with the employer organisations disagreeing.

So-called platform-based work utilises a digital platform maintained by a company, through which food couriers are informed of the need for delivery. The company recruits restaurants as users of its platform and food couriers for delivery services.

Meanwhile, Finnish-based food delivery service Wolt has said that wages and working conditions for couriers will be deteriorated, if they were to become employees of the company instead of staying freelance entrepreneurs, reported the national broadcaster Yle.

Wolt Co-Founder Juhani Mykkänen told Yle that changing the estimated 4,000 freelance 'partners into employee contracts would create a "really complicated situation".