Gov't to ban kids under 16 from working as delivery drivers for rapid grocery services
The Netherlands is banning children under the age of 16 from working as delivery drivers for rapid grocery delivery services like Getir and Flink, outgoing Minister Karien van Gennip of Social Affairs and Employment announced in a letter to parliament. According to the Minister, it is not a safe and healthy environment for children to rush through traffic in order to make a timely delivery. The ban will take effect a month from now.
The Netherlands already banned children under 16 from working as deliverers for meal delivery services in July 2020. Van Gennip has decided to impose the same ban on the rapid grocery delivery sector.
According to the Dutch Labor Inspectorate, there are many similarities between meal delivery and rapid grocery delivery, calling both unsafe and underpaid. The drivers work under considerable time pressure during peak times of the day, and both use bicycles or scooters with backpacks or containers for orders.
During deliveries, young workers risk collisions, they face intense work pressure, and heavy backpacks could cause physical strain. They also risk facing violence or aggression from other traffic users or customers.
“The ban will take effect very shortly because it concerns the health of children,” Van Gennip said. According to her, an earlier announcement that the ban would take effect this year gave rapid grocery delivery services a reasonable period to terminate their current contracts and planned work for 15-year-olds in their service.
After a few years of skyrocketing popularity, rapid grocery delivery services like Getir, Flink, and Gorillas are facing increasingly difficult times in the Netherlands. Several municipalities are taking measures against the services. Amsterdam and The Hague, for example, banished the services’ supply centers from residential areas, resulting in longer delivery times. Due to inflation, Netherlands residents are also spending less on luxuries like getting their groceries delivered within minutes.