TVK issues three rulings on the application of the Workers’ Compensation Act in relation to food couriers
The platform economy and new forms of working give rise to interpretations on whether work is carried out in an employment relationship or as an entrepreneur. Interpretative rulings also have an influence on who is responsible for taking out workers’ compensation insurance. On 23 June 2021, the Finnish Workers’ Compensation Center TVK issued three rulings on the applicability of the Workers’ Compensation Act on the food transportation work performed by food couriers.
In two of the rulings, the Workers’ Compensation Center found the food transportation work carried out by the food couriers to have been part of a contractual relationship, as provided for in the Employment Contracts Act, and with the platform company in the role of employer. As such, the issue was one of work carried out as an employee, as defined in the Workers’ Compensation Act, the insurance of which is the responsibility of the employer.
In one ruling, the Workers’ Compensation Center deemed that the food transportation work performed by the food couriers had not been carried out within the kind of employment contract referred to in the Employment Contracts Act. This was a question of work carried out as an entrepreneur, as defined in the Workers’ Compensation Act, the insurance of which is the responsibility of the employee.
The rulings are based on an assessment of the actual working conditions, and take into account the terms and conditions regarding the performance and commissioning of work agreed upon in the work contract. In all three rulings, the Workers’ Compensation Center deemed that although the individual characteristics of an employment relationship had been met, an overall assessment remained necessary.
In one ruling, the Employment Contracts Act was also applied via a reference provision in the Workers’ Compensation Act. The starting point for workers’ compensation insurance is that the scope of application is harmonised with employment pension insurance.
The ruling of the Workers’ Compensation Center is binding
The Workers’ Compensation Center issued its rulings upon an application from an insurance company. Upon receipt of an application from an employee, a person performing work, an employer, a person commissioning work, or an insurance institution, the Workers’ Compensation Center may decide whether the Workers’ Compensation Act applies to the work.
The Workers’ Compensation Center acts as the joint body for the implementation and development of workers’ compensation insurance, and its statutory functions include issuing such rulings on the scope of application of the Act.
A ruling by the Workers’ Compensation Center is binding on the parties concerned (the insurance company that submitted the appeal, the person performing the work, and the person commissioning the work), who can appeal against the ruling by appealing to the Employment Accidents Appeal Board.
Neither the processing of the case nor the ruling are made public. The parties’ right to access information is provided for in the Workers’ Compensation Act and in the Act on the Openness of Government Activities.
Further information: Elina Holmas, Legal Counsel, firstname.lastname@example.org