Ride-hailing firm Uber were handed a blow today to its European business model after a Dutch Court ruled drivers on its platform are entitled to workers' rights under local employment laws.
The Federation of Dutch Trade Unions argued that approximately 4,000 Uber drivers working in the Dutch capital should be entitled to certian workers' rights. The Amsterdam District Court agreed that drivers should be classed as employees and should be granted benefits in line with the taxi sector in the region.
The court found drivers on the Uber platform who transport customers are covered by a collective labour agreement for taxi transportation.
Within the ruling it said: "The legal relationship between Uber and these drivers meets all the characteristics of an employment contract."
The drivers' victory is seen as another win for unions seeking better rights and more pay for those working in the gig economy across the world.
In February, the United Kingdom Supreme Court handed a similar victory to Uber drivers after six-year battle for worker rights including the right to earn the minimum wage and holiday pay.
Tens of thousands of Uber drivers in the UK are now able to claim the right to be classed as workers. However, in the Netherlands, Uber are expected to appeal the decision with sources claiming Uber "has no plans to employ drivers in the Netherlands".
Maurits Schönfeld, Uber's general manager for Northern Europe, said: "We are disappointed with this decision because we know that the overwhelming majority of drivers wish to remain independent."
Schönfeld added: "Drivers don’t want to give up their freedom to choose if, when and where to work."
The Amsterdam District Court judges also handed Uber a fine of €50,000 for failing to implement the terms of the labour agreement for taxi drivers.