PostNL carriers demand full-time contracts

PostNL package carriers feel exploited for having to invest significant amounts of their own money in their work and getting paid too little for being only part-time independent contractors, Volkskrant writes. One of the carriers is suing PostNL in pursuit of lost wages. 

The first delivery man with a right to demand a full-time contract has been reported. He is part of a large group of freelance workers who want the disputed PostNL package carrier structure removed, says his lawyer. The carriers are hired as independent entrepreneurs, but with so many conditions they are actually essentially permanent full-time staff without the benefits of independent work. Apart from a staff position, the carrier wants to get almost 38,000 euros of wages he lost during his two year working time in the PostNL.

"The freelance carrier is loaned a scanner from PostNL and the company checks whether the employee is working according to the rules. This has nothing to do with being an entrepreneur anymore. This regulation provides huge savings for PostNL, meanwhile the carrier takes all the risks," the carrier's lawyer, Jola Boot says to Volkskrant.

Even though the former Economic Affairs Secretary, Henk Bleeker said that both parties have the freedom to terminate the contract when dissatisfied with the terms, Boot emphasises the fact that the carriers are bound by hands and feet. His 58-year old client is going to court because he is not working for PostNL anymore and thus not dependent on the company anymore.

"My client paid 20,000 euros in a second-hand delivery van. He works 55 hours a week for PostNL and may not deliver packages for other clients. How is he supposed to even find other clients working such hours for one company? Such an investment must be recouped," Boot states.

The terms between package carriers and PostNL have been questioned for long and dozens of delivery men drove in a convoy to The Hague on Monday to protest against their low pay rates.