A Dutch court of appeal has ruled that Deliveroo’s core activity is the delivery of meals. As a consequence, the firm’s Dutch employees will have to join the pension fund for the transport sector, Vervoer.
Deliveroo was also ordered to pay outstanding contributions to Vervoer dating back to 26 June 2015, when Deliveroo started its operations in the Netherlands.
The verdict follows a similar ruling in 2019. Back then, a lower judge had ruled that Deliveroo workers were covered by the transport scheme, a decision to which Deliveroo appealed.
Deliveroo claimed in court that it really is an internet platform, and not just an ordinary delivery service.
However, the court rejected the firm’s line of argument noting that Deliveroo employs far fewer office personnel than delivery staff, that an important part of the firm’s costs are borne by delivering food and that deals with restaurants tend to include a commission for meal delivery.
The court also noted that Deliveroo’s contracts with riders say they devote their time mainly to delivering meals. According to the court, it doesn’t matter whether the food is transported by car, scooter or (e)bike.
Deliveroo had argued that delivery by bike falls outside the scope of mandatory participation in the Vervoer fund.