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Investigation into Deliveroo and Uber Eats ramps up

15:54 16/01/2018

Belgium’s labour minister has applied a protocol to rope in help from other departments and institutions in the investigation into employment practices of food delivery services Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

Minister Kris Peeters opened the investigation into the delivery services last October. The protocol, approved last month, has now been applied, which ensures that local police and justice departments can give their full co-operation to his department’s investigation.

The minister wants “to give our labour auditors all the legal resources they need for the investigation,” he said. The services, which deliver restaurant food to people’s homes and businesses, operate in Brussels but also in other Belgian cities, such as Antwerp and Ghent.

Deliveroo workers strike

Peeters is concerned about the conditions under which the bicycle couriers who deliver the food are employed. Deliveroo couriers in Brussels are striking every Saturday night this month in protest at the poor pay and lack of employment status.

Workers were recently told that they would have to register as self-employed and could no longer use the SMart invoicing service, which offered them some social safety nets.

Peeters’ latest move suggests that his department requires additional help to secure information needed to create a legal statute for independent delivery workers. “I hope in this manner to get some clarity as to whether bicycle couriers should be considered self-employed or employees,” said Peeters. “Now that the work of various services can be co-ordinated, I hope for a more quick and efficient resolution.”

Written by Lisa Bradshaw