“If a decision goes the wrong way, there will be consequences for Deliveroo. I do not think we could continue our activities in Belgium in such a context,” Deliveroo Belgium’s CEO Pierre Verdier said on Monday in the Le Soir columns.
The story was in response to the start of a Labour Court review of the status of the couriers on Monday.
The company’s activities—home delivery of restaurant dishes — could certainly not go on “with the same efficiency and to the same extent.”
“Deliveroo could perhaps continue to operate in some large cities, but in very specific and limited sections. Instead of covering 30% of the territory, we could only cover 2%,” the CEO said. “This would also be problematic for the Belgian economy. In 2019, Deliveroo brought a 40 million increase in our partner restaurants’ turnover.”
On 20 January, the first hearing of the trial between the labour auditor’s office and Deliveroo Belgium will take place. The application presented by the magistrates, after a two-year investigation, calls into question the nature of the employment relationship established between the couriers who carry out deliveries for the company and the latter.
Currently, the platform pays its couriers “per run”, via either the independent status, or that of the collaborative economy (which exempts the couriers’ first €6,000 of annual revenuefrom taxes). To the prosecution, however, they should be employees.