One of the things that occupies the trade union movement 150 years after its founding is “the solo self-employed”.
The solo self-employed – or false self-employed, as the trade union movement calls them – are people who work for companies in, for example, the delivery industry and the cleaning industry, but are not employees.
In some ways, they challenge the unions, says Christian Lyhne Ibsen, associate professor at the Research Center for Labor Market and Organizational Studies at the University of Copenhagen.
– There have always been pockets in the labor market that have not been within the Danish model. But here we move on to some areas where the unions have had an interest in organizing in the area, he says.
He believes that the unions are very concerned about the solo self-employed and their conditions. But because they are not wage earners, it challenges the unions.
– It is clear that as long as they are not considered employees, the unions are also a bit in a ford, he says.
In January, 3F Transport and Dansk Erhverv signed an industry agreement for food delivery, which the takeaway company Just Eat joined.
But several of the competitors did not. This applies, among other things, to Wolt, who maintains that their bids are solo independent.
Wolt wants to retain the flexibility that their bidders are happy with, says the company’s communications manager, Mikkel Tofte Jørgensen.
– The flexibility goes beyond being free to come in whenever you want. You can also choose whether you want to decline an order and whether you want to work with others than just Wolt, he says.
Mikkel Tofte Jørgensen highlights a study from the research institute Voxmeter. It shows that 68 percent of Volt’s bidders prefer to be self-employed.
Federal Secretary of 3F Henning Overgaard believes that there must be room for flexibility, but that false self-employment creates challenges.
– It is a challenge if the jobs get such an insecure constellation that employees can not feel confident about whether they can pay their bills or borrow money from the bank and be part of our ordinary society, he says.
He sees the approach to solo self-employment as a creative way to evade employer responsibility.
– Whether we are talking about food stalls, waiters or cleaning people, the same applies that when these apps do not take on an employer responsibility, it takes rights out of their hands, says Henning Overgaard.
Therefore, he also welcomes the government’s proposal for a presumption rule. This would mean that workers are wage earners unless they can prove that they are self-employed.
Mikkel Tofte Jørgensen understands well that the unions may be concerned. But he stresses that Wolt wants to find a middle ground that ensures freedom and security for the bids.
Conversely, Henning Overgaard does not believe that being an employee and having a collective agreement stands in the way of flexible working hours.
Source: The Nordic Page