Critics push PostNL to offer staff jobs to "freelance" drivers

PostNL is willing to offer independent package delivery drivers a permanent contract. The company recently received a lot of criticism that the freelancers who deliver packages for the company are "sham-self employed" and earn little for their work. How many people will actually accept the offer, is still unknown.

"We are not blind to the debate currently taking place", Ysme Pasma, director of packages at PostNL, said to NOS. "You have the real entrepreneurs who negotiate hard with as and we have entrepreneurs who do so more out of need. If the latter encounter difficulties, we must do something for them. We want to get rid of the negative flavor that hangs around package deliverers in the Netherlands."

Pasma could not say exactly what package the about 1,150 freelance delivery drivers will be offered. He first wants to consult with various parties, including the delivery drivers, trade unions and tax authorities. He expects that the majority of the freelancers will not want a permanent contract.

FNV director Reinier Stroo told the Volkskrant that he is "cautiously optimistic" about PostNL's proposal, but will have to wait and see how many freelancer the company is willing to employ and under what conditions. CNV director Aynur Polat called the offer "very good news", but hopes that PostNL is considering also offering a contract to fired postmen and drivers as package delivers.