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Dutch Supreme Court has final say and rules: Deliveroo are employees

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Last Friday, the ruling of the Dutch Supreme Court has put an end to the soap whether Deliveroo employees were self-employed or normal employees. Although Deliveroo has already left the Netherlands, this ruling may have far-reaching consequences for other “delivery services” and comparable service contracts.

Deliveroo concluded agreements with its deliverers which were referred to as an service contract. However, the trade union FNV thought this interpretation incorrect and held the opinion that these contract should be seen as normal employment contracts. Both the District Court and the Court of Appeal ruled in earlier steps of these proceedings that the contracts concluded should indeed be seen as employment contracts. Deliveroo lodged however a final appeal with the Dutch Supreme Court against the Court of Appeal ruling.

In her argumentation to this appeal , Deliveroo stated, among other things, that the delivery drivers could themselves arrange for replacements and that they had the freedom to work or not, which in her view did not fit with the conditions of an employment contract.

In its ruling, the Dutch Supreme Court countered however, that in view of the underlying facts in this case, the Court of appeal had reached a correct ruling and that there was thus an employment contract between Deliveroo and its deliverers.

In practice, it now thus remains to be seen how the tax authorities and social security authorities will act in comparable situations. However, it is expected that this ruling will lead to a faster determination of the position of these authorities regarding the existence of a normal employment relationship.

We also strongly believe that it would be good if the Cabinet finally gave priority to a thorough successor to the current Deregulation Assessment of Employment Relation Act, the effective implementation of which has proven almost impossible in practice. This is in order to provide for once and for all definitive clarity from the side of the government as to making the qualification of a work relation as either self-employed or work performed under an employment contract.

If you would like to receive further information on or have any questions about this topic then please do not hesitate to contact your personal Taxperience contact, who will be happy to assist you further.

Taxperience has taken care in compiling the information provided in this article. However, Taxperience will not be liable for any direct or indirect damages resulting from the use of, reliance on, or actions taken in response to the information provided in this article.