In a landmark achievement for workers’ rights, food delivery services in Germany will now have to either provide couriers with bicycles and mobile phones or pay them compensation as part of their employment agreements.
The decision came after the country’s Federal Labor Court ruled in favor of bike courier Philipp Schurk, after he took the delivery platform Lieferando to court, demanding that it give him the tools necessary to do the job.
On its end, the company—a subsidiary of Amsterdam-based Just Eat Takeaway—argued that since riders working on its platform already had bicycles and smartphones, they were not “significantly burdened” by having to use their own gear, reported euronews.
“This contradicts the basic legal idea of the employment relationship, according to which the employer must provide the work equipment essential for the performance of the agreed activity and ensure that it is in good working order,” the court ruled.
“This is a strong and groundbreaking signal to establish fair and equal working conditions in the industry,” said Freddy Adjan, vice chairman of Germany’s Food and Catering Union NGG, which backed Schurk.
Following the court’s decision, food delivery couriers in Germany now have the right to receive a bicycle and a smartphone capable of receiving orders from restaurants. With that said, the ruling still allows for an exception where riders’ contracts can require them to work with their own equipment in return for “appropriate financial compensation”.