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The company argued that their riders already owned bikes and phones, so they would not be significantly burdened

Landmark case for gig economy food delivery in Germany, as courts decide against Lieferando

Landmark case for gig economy food delivery in Germany, as courts decide against Lieferando

According to the Federal Labour Court in Germany, companies have to provide their employees with bikes and phones

Last week, the Federal Labour Court in Germany ruled that local delivery services need to provide their employees with work bicycles and mobile phones or offer financial compensation to workers who use their own devices.

Companies have to provide staff with the necessary tools to do the job

The move came as a result of a court case between Frankfurt-based courier Philipp Schurk and the delivery platform Lieferando. The employee demanded from the company to provide him with the essential tools for the job.

Lieferando, the German subsidiary of Just Eat Takeaway, a firm based in Amsterdam, argued that so-called riders working for their platform already had bicycles and internet-enabled smartphones, so they would not be “significantly burdened” by using their own equipment.

The company also said they offered employees a 0.25 euro-cent per kilometre voucher for bicycle repairs at a repair shop of the company’s choosing. It did not, however, offer a similar perk for phone repairs.

The courts disagreed, saying that the practice makes Lieferando’s delivery riders shoulder the risk of damage to their own equipment, which was an unreasonable disadvantage. Furthermore, the court ruled that the company should provide riders with roadworthy bikes and phones capable of doing the required tasks or alternatively afford monetary compensation.

The gig economy – fair and equal

The German Food and Catering Union NGG backed Schurk in the court case. Freddy Adjan, deputy chairman of the union, announced that this is a strong and ground-breaking signal for the start of the creation of fair and equal conditions in the gig economy.

He continued by explaining that Lieferando’s practice undercut the company’s hourly wage, which was already only slightly above the minimum. He explained that the company will no longer be able to pass the equipment maintenance cost onto its workers.

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