The conflict between taxi platform and trade union FNV proves once again that more government guidance is needed to come up with a good solution for the self-employed. That is what lawyer and lecturer in employment law Johan Zwemmer of the University of Amsterdam said earlier this week in the TV program EenVandaag. He believes that the sanction-free verdict of the judge last autumn did not help either party.
The judge ruled in that judgment that the Uber drivers are not self-employed. but workers. Uber must therefore hire them and adhere to the taxi collective agreement. According to the American company, that is not possible at all because this collective labor agreement is unworkable for a platform company such as that of Uber. Because Uber has not yet implemented the collective labor agreement, FNV again went to court last week to demand that the Uber drivers be hired after all with a penalty payment.
Adjust taxi-cao To EenVandaag Zwemmer said he understood both points of view. As long as the Uber drivers are not employed, they do not pay premiums and taxes and do not accrue pension. They are also vulnerable if they lose their job, as FNV emphasizes. At the same time, the teacher can imagine that it is difficult for Uber to implement the collective labor agreement in its existing form. “Uber sees itself as a platform and works with a different model than traditional taxi companies, for which the existing collective labor agreement has been drawn up.”
Last fall’s verdict does not really help the parties either, because the judge does not impose any sanctions. Zwemmer sees the solution in negotiations between Uber and FNV, in which both parties add water to the wine. “Both parties must comply.” They can, for example, see whether an adjusted taxi collective agreement can be drawn up that better matches the business model of Uber.
General social problem The lack of employment contracts is not only an issue with platforms such as Uber, but is a general social problem according to Zwemmer. That is why he argued at EenVandaag for more government guidance. In the eyes of Zwemmer, the efforts made by the government so far seem to indicate that the cabinet does not know what to do with the self-employed.
We are now waiting for the verdict from the judge in last week’s lawsuit. In addition, there is still an appeal from Uber against the judge’s verdict from last fall.
Comparable case: Deliveroo Coincidentally, the Supreme Court ruled last week in a similar case, except that it did not concern Uber, but meal delivery company Deliveroo. It also revolved around the question of whether – in this case – deliverers are employees or self-employed. FNV had entered the legal battle a few years ago. Earlier, the court and the court of appeal had already ruled that meal deliverers work on the basis of an employment contract. The Supreme Court came to the same conclusion.
In the judgment the highest court elaborates on Dutch and European developments related to platform work. Like lawyer Johan Zwemmer, the Supreme Court also notes that the lack of enforcement by the government in assessing employment relationships is a major problem. As a result, companies can easily push the boundaries.
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