Wolt draws attention to his employment status as a courier in Finland

Food delivery start-up Wolt is facing questions in its home market, Finland, regarding the employment status of couriers.

The PAM union filed a complaint against Wolt in Helsinki, saying couriers should be classified as employees and not as contractors. He also said couriers should be compensated for the time spent waiting for an order.

“The main problem is that we are claiming that the food courier has an employment status as stated in the Finnish law on employment contracts,” said a spokesperson for the union.

In another issue, Avi, the regional administrative agency for the state of Southern Finland, told Wolt that it had to record the working hours of its couriers, but the company rejected that request, saying it didn’t ‘did not need to do so because its passengers are not employed.

Wolt co-founder Juhani Mykkänen said he aimed to keep couriers as entrepreneurs.

“From our point of view, the most realistic positive outcome at the moment would be for us to clarify the rules when you are an entrepreneur and then allow couriers to continue as entrepreneurs,” Mykkänen said.

He pointed to a similar refrain from many in the concert or platform economy, calling for ways to provide certain benefits, like time off and sick pay or pension contributions, but without the responsibilities of be employers.

“There are some things about how we can do it. We can allow couriers to organize themselves even though they are subcontractors. This is something the EU is looking at, I think it is. is a good idea. It would also be great if companies like us could provide some safety nets to people doing the work without risking it being considered an employee, ”he said.

Wolt raised $ 530 million in January to expand more aggressively in Europe and beyond.

With us, the case taken by PAM is pending before the Helsinki District Court. Meanwhile, the Avi agency said it plans to make a decision regarding requirements for employers to keep records of employee working hours.

“The authority will hear from the company’s point of view first. The period set for the hearing extends until the end of August,” Avi said in a statement.

Mykkänen rebuffed claims from unions like PAM that runners should be classified as employees while the company has also reported an investigation who said the majority of couriers prefer entrepreneur status.

“Unions raise issues about things that are not done the way they are in the job. Basically if you compensated for the waiting time for a prescription it would be job-like and it would weaken the case. in a possible judicial process, “he said. noted.

“In employment you pay for time and with subcontractors you pay for the actual end results of the job. of people as sub-contractors. “

Wolt’s challenges at his home reflect a similar debate unfolding across Europe, from courtrooms to legislatures, whether it’s the reclassification of Uber drivers in the UK or Spain taking action with new strict laws on the status of employees in the concert economy.

Earlier this year, Wolt got teamed up with a number of its rivals, including Delivery Hero and Glovo, to form the European Purpose Project, a lobbying group, to advocate in Europe for more friendly regulation for their businesses.

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