Employee or freelancer?

Click here for Dutch

Deliveroo is an app that connects food carriers and restaurants. Through an app the carriers choose their own times and then they deliver for multiple restaurants during their shift. Last year an employee of Deliveroo, Sytze, went to court because he believed that he was an employee rather than a freelancer. He signed a freelance contract, but he was treated like an employee. Back then he lost in court, because he could deliver in his own clothes, could work for the competition and could cancel work without consequences.

Only last week when the workers union sued Deliveroo, the judges changed the verdict. The carriers of Deliveroo are employees instead of freelancers. The new judge talks about fake independence, because the carriers had to bring the orders on time and have to act professionally towards the customer. Two things you do not have to expect from a freelancer, according to the judge. 

But what does it matter if you are a freelancer or an employee? In this case, not much. The many advantages a freelancer has over regular employees will still exist. One of those advantages is that a freelancer does not have to work according to a schedule, Deliveroo carries dont do that either. They decide themselves when to work. 

However, a person that can’t negotiate over its own contract and payment or doesn’t have any influence in what tasks he gets (the app does that for you), is not independent nor free. The other side is that the carriers do not have to open the app and can choose not to work, ever. That is a luxury most regular employees don’t have. A regular relation between employee and employer has a mutual work obligation. You can expect your boss to have work and your boss expects you to work regularly. This is for some jobs, like delivering pizzas, unnecessary.

In the past you worked for a boss or you were your own boss (regardless if you have employees or not). Becuase of the platform economy another form emerged: The flexible employee. These are people like students that just need some money now and want to get paid. Platforms like Deliveroo, Helpling or Temper are the ideal solution. The flexibility is good for both parties, the employer only pays when he needs to and the employee only works when he wants to. Perfect!