The Finnish food service Wolt has said that the salaries and working conditions of couriers will deteriorate if they become employees of the company instead of remaining freelance entrepreneurs.
The company responded to a statement issued by the Finnish Labor Council on Thursday, in which it stated that it considers food couriers to be employees, not entrepreneurs.
The Council reports to the Ministry of Economy and Labor, and although the opinion is not legally binding, it is important.
Founder of Wolt Juhani Mykkänen told Yle that switching an estimated 4,000 freelance partners to employment would create "really complicated situation".
"There are pros and cons here, and we need to consider many different things," Mykkänen said and added that the employee’s hourly wage would be significantly lower than the current entrepreneur’s wage.
Working conditions are also changing, Mykkänen said, as is the freelancer’s freedom to choose his own working hours.
"The next regional government agency will contact us next and we will consider together what would be the best and most responsible way forward," Mykkänen said.
Couriers are “mainly employees”
Food couriers have previously worked as entrepreneurs in Finland, which means that they do not receive sick leave or other benefits granted to employees.
The Labor Council stated that the work performed by the couriers fulfills the relations between the employer and the employee defined in Finnish legislation.
"They are mainly employees," Professor of Labor Law at the University of Turku Seppo Koskinen told Yle. "Our current labor laws are built so that the people who do the work are either entrepreneurs or employees. Labor law has been careful not to create an intermediate group."
Koskinen added that the EU could, in theory, draw up a directive that would provide a common approach and a set of guidelines for companies operating in many different countries.
"It would be good if the same principles could be followed worldwide," Koskinen said.
Source: The Nordic Page