Couriers will receive a minimum remuneration and will be guaranteed a break after nine hours of continuous work.
Businesses flouting the rules risk hefty fines. Unions and employers are both unhappy with the new rules and claim telecoms minister Petra De Sutter (Flemish green) is sounding the sector’s death knell.
Ms De Sutter denies that the unease among unions and employers is justified because the matter has been considered from all sides.
“The market must organise itself. Companies that already meet all the conditions formulated in the new legislation needn’t change their business model. Prices won’t have to change. If companies that employ couriers without a driving licence, 14-year-olds that receive a euro per delivered parcel, have to put up the price of parcel delivery by a euro a parcel, then they will have to revisit their business model”.
Courier services, transport companies and unions are all unhappy with the new rules. They fear an increase in red tape for courier companies and that flexible working will be restricted in a sector that requires great flexibility.