Brussels court rules that Deliveroo couriers are employees
The Brussels Labour Court has ruled that couriers who deliver meals for Deliveroo should be considered employees, the socialist trade union BTB reported in a press release on Friday.
The decision is an appeal: the court overturned a first-instance ruling by the Brussels Labour Court at the end of 2021. This time, the court followed the claim of the couriers, mostly bicycle couriers, that they are not independent platform workers but employees of Deliveroo.
The ruling is important not just for the couriers involved in the case, but for the industry as a whole, the BTB argues. According to the union, the ruling has "enormous legal value for the future" and the couriers involved in the case are entitled to all benefits and wages for the period in question.
Employment lawyer Frank Hendrickx, saying that the ruling will ensure a fairer economic playing field in the sector. The ruling is particularly important for the sector itself and, to a lesser extent, for self-employed workers in other sectors.
"Not every self-employed person will be able to argue on the basis of this ruling that he or she is a bogus self-employed person," says Hendrickx. "It depends on the specific circumstances in which the self-employed person works."
Deliveroo announced later on Friday that it would appeal the ruling to the Court of Cassation. "The ruling does not sufficiently take into account the specifics of Deliveroo's working model, the company said on Friday, adding that Deliveroo's flexible working is "highly valued" by its couriers.
© BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND