Home Brussels Belgian court sides with Uber against driver seeking employee status

Belgian court sides with Uber against driver seeking employee status

by editor

A Brussels court has ruled in favor of ride-hailing app Uber in a dispute over a driver’s employment status, according to a copy of the ruling seen by POLITICO.

The court case pitted a former Uber driver and the Belgian state on the one side, and the ride-hailing app and the Belgian Platform Association (BPRA), a drivers organization operated by Uber in Belgium, on the other. The ruling, distributed late on Thursday, said the driver was in “a working relationship of independent nature” with Uber and the BPRA and that there is “no hierarchical control” of Uber over the worker.

The court’s decision overrides one taken in October 2020 by Belgium’s administrative committee that regulates employment relationships, which argued the driver’s working conditions were “incompatible” with self-employed work and they should be reclassified as an employee.

Uber in a statement welcomed the ruling as “an important decision for the thousands of drivers who use our app and want to remain independent.”

The court decision is yet another case muddying the issue of whether gig workers like Uber drivers should enjoy social rights of employees or rather have lighter social protection associated with being an independent contractor.

EU lawmakers and national diplomats are both still working through the trickiest details of the EU’s Platform Work Directive, which would reclassify up to 4.1 million platform workers as employees.

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