Occupational Safety and Health Authority finds that Wolt couriers are in an employment relationship
In the view of the Occupational Safety and Health Authority, couriers of Wolt Enterprises Oy are in an employment relationship, and their working hours should be recorded. The Occupational Safety and Health Authority, i.e. the Occupational Safety and Health Division of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland, made a decision on the matter on 1 November 2021.
The decision obliges Wolt to start taking measures within 14 days to maintain working time records or to report on said measures to the Occupational Safety and Health Authority. The decision of the Occupational Safety and Health Authority can also be appealed to the Administrative Court.
The Occupational Safety and Health Authority made the decision on the basis of a comprehensive assessment. The Occupational Safety and Health Authority looks at the matter from the perspective of labour legislation, and the employer’s obligations are laid down in a contractual relationship to protect the weaker party. The assessment revealed a number of factors that could also have been in favour of seeing couriers as entrepreneurs.
“Only a court of law can make this a legally binding decision. For the parties’ legal protection and for the social importance of the subject at hand, we are hoping that there will be a court ruling on this matter. Labour legislation has not kept up with the development of business and technology, and in the current situation, it is difficult for all parties on the labour market to anticipate how the legislation will be interpreted”, says Director Eerik Tarnaala from the Occupational Safety and Health Division of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland.
Decision based on a comprehensive assessment
The comprehensive assessment by the Occupational Safety and Health Authority underlines the following factors, particularly related to the concrete aspects of the work, that support the interpretation of an employment relationship: Couriers are subordinate to Wolt and the platform managed by Wolt. Wolt defines how the work is carried out by, for example, managing and supervising the work through its platform and by controlling the use of substitutes. Couriers do not have influence over the level of remunerations or the amount of compensation.
The Employment Contracts Act constitutes mandatory law, and contracting parties cannot legally agree on its application. This is intended to protect employees who are subordinate to the employer.
Based on the overall assessment and taking into account the mandatory nature of the Employment Contracts Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Authority finds that the work carried out by the couriers fulfils the characteristics of an employment relationship in accordance with chapter 1, section 1 of the Employment Contracts Act, and therefore the work carried out by the couriers must comply with the Working Hours Act.
Director Eerik Tarnaala, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 0295 016 370
Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland, Occupational Safety and Health Division