Appeals court delays ruling in landmark Uber case over drivers’ work status
The Amsterdam Court of Appeal postponed its ruling in a case between trade union FNV and Uber on whether Uber drivers are employees or self-employed. Before ruling, the court wants clarification from the Supreme Court on several points in its ruling on a similar case regarding Deliveroo delivery drivers earlier this year.
FNV filed the suit against Uber because it believes that Uber drivers are practically employees of the company but don’t receive the same wages and other benefits as employees, such as vacation and sick leave. Uber considers its drivers as self-employed entrepreneurs and wants to keep it that way. The court in Amsterdam ruled in favor of FNV two years ago, ordering Uber to employ its drivers and that they fall under the Taxi Transport collective bargaining agreement. Uber appealed.
According to the Court of Appeal, this case has many similarities with the Deliveroo case, in which the Supreme Court ruled in March that the delivery workers for the meal delivery service were salaried employees, not freelancers. The Supreme Court set several criteria for assessing whether the relationship between worker and company is an employment contract or not. However, according to the Court of Appeal, “a literal reading of the Deiveroo ruling could mean that of two Uber drivers who do exactly the same work, one has an employee relationship and the other does not.” The court would like clarification on that.
The Court of Appeal also wants the Supreme Court to weigh in on FNV’s argument that all Uber drivers are employees and, therefore, fall under the Taxi Transport collective agreement. The court wants to know whether the law FNV appeals to - The AVV Act, which makes collective labor agreements generally binding for entire groups of workers - is suitable for this case. Because some Uber drivers also do other work.
Uber, FNV, and the Uber drivers involved in this lawsuit can weigh in on how the Court of Appeal formulates its questions to the Supreme Court until November 14, after which the court will submit them. It is not clear when the Supreme Court will respond.