Status: 10/11/2021 4:27 PM
As a matter of principle, food delivery services should provide bicycle couriers with a bicycle and a mobile phone as working equipment. This was decided by the Federal Labor Court and the complaint by a courier from Hessen was upheld.
Bicycle carriers generally have the right to require employers to provide them with a walkable bicycle and – if necessary for work – a smartphone. This was decided by the Federal Labor Court (BAG) in Erfurt. In accordance with this, contractually agreed deviations are allowed. However, if this is stated in the General Terms and Conditions, Suppliers must obtain appropriate financial compensation for the use of their bicycle and cell phone.
Bike and smartphone wanted
The Federal Labor Court is following a ruling by the Hessan State Labor Court in March. A bicycle supplier from Hessen has filed a lawsuit. Picks up ordered food and drinks from restaurants and delivers them to customers. He received his orders via a smartphone app, and for every hour he worked he was credited with a flat repair fee of 25 cents for his bike. However, he can only redeem this with an established contractual partner. This regulation is set out in the general terms and conditions of the contract.
The supplier complained about having a walkable bike and an internet-connected mobile phone. On the other hand, the employer argued that the drivers already owned a bicycle and a cell phone and were not under excessive pressure from their own use.
The employer must provide work equipment
The Hesian State Labor Court upheld the driver’s complaint in March. The delivery service is exempt from acquisition and operating costs under the regulations in the contract; However, the risks of wear, deterioration in value, loss and damage rest entirely with the driver. There was not enough compensation for this, because the passenger is not free to choose a bicycle repair shop, for example.
No monetary compensation is provided for the use of the cell phone. Therefore, the complaining driver can insist on using the cell phone and the bike provided by the employer. The Federal Labor Court followed this line of argument. “This contradicts the basic legal concept of an employment relationship, according to which the employer must provide essential work equipment to perform the agreed activity and ensure that it is operating,” according to BAG. The business owner must take care of the work equipment.
(File Number: 5 AZR 334/21)
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