‘I’m a student, not a company’: Deliveroo courier heads for court

A courier for food delivery firm Deliveroo is planning to take the company to court because he does not want to be treated as self-employed, broadcaster RTL Z said on Thursday.

From next February, Deliveroo’s 1,750 delivery workers in the Netherlands will become freelancers which, the company says, means they will be able to keep more of their earnings.

Sytze Ferwerda says the company is treating couriers as independent but in fact they work directly for Deliveroo. ‘I am a student, I’m not a little company,’ Ferwerda told RTL. ‘My employer is taking advantage of me. It wants to up its profits by letting me take all the risks.’

Ferwerda has now launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise €7,500 to fight the case. He is also being backed by the Labour party and FNV trade union.

Labour law expert Peter van de Brink told RTL that Ferwerda has a good chance of success and the case could have major consequences for other gig economy companies.

Deliveroo told RTL that most couriers want more flexibility and being self-employed is the best way of achieving this.