Delivery Platforms Europe

Study of the value of flexible work for local delivery couriers

Some policymakers and unions have challenged the “gig economy” model of engaging independent workers and call for a reclassification of independent platform workers as employees. This policy shift would imply a move from a flexible work model, where couriers decide when and where to work, towards an inflexible work model, where the platforms or other employers of delivery staff predetermine hours.

Based on a novel pan-European survey of more than 16,000 couriers, latest public information, as well as new data sought from food delivery platforms, this study analyses:

This economic study does not research access to social protection and other aspects (e.g. legal) of labour conditions and models – even though they remain important issues to assess and discuss – but focuses on the value creation associated with flexibility.

Key findings

Food delivery is a large sector enabling many opportunities for couriers to complement their existing activities by choosing courier work in a flexible mode, which couriers value

Abandoning the flexible work model would harm couriers’ jobs and earnings:

Abandoning the flexible work model would lead to inefficiencies and harm the entire food delivery eco-system:

The study is commissioned by Delivery Platforms Europe (on behalf of Bolt, Deliveroo, Delivery Hero, Uber and Wolt).

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