Economy

Many offenses in meal delivery: delivery people too young

On June 26, inspectors, along with municipalities and the police, checked six branches of a fast food chain. Five fifteen-year-old delivery workers were found to be still working after nine o’clock in the evening and even at eleven o’clock, although this is not permitted. Their work was immediately shut down.

The inspection was prompted by reports of young meal deliverers who were said to be working until late in the evening. The checks took place in Amstelveen, Bussum, Huizen, Utrecht and Hilversum.

It is unclear which fast food chain it concerns. At least it is not McDonald’s, says a spokesman for that chain. The company would take great care to ensure that deliverers are not too young.

Thuisbezorgd also does this with its own delivery service, which offers it in large cities to restaurants that do not have their own deliverers. “We do not hire people under the age of 16 from our delivery service. The average age is 23,” said a spokesperson. “Safety is at the top of our priority list and young people are less able to assess risks.”

E-bike

In the past, meals were often delivered on the scooter, but with the arrival of the electric delivery bicycle, children under 16 can now do this work quickly and easily. As a result, many young people aged 13, 14 and 15 see this as the ideal side job.

The former labor inspectorate does not want young people under 16 to deliver food. It would bring various dangers. It is about working under time pressure, unsafe traffic conditions and making payments.

Additional checks

The inspection of meal deliverers was intensified by the Inspectorate SZW in the past year. More than half of the audited companies turned out to go wrong. These companies often lack knowledge of what is permitted by law.

Delivery workers are paid too little, work too long or are not allowed to work at certain times at all because they are too young. This applies to large chains with their own deliverers as well as for smaller eateries with their own deliverers, says the Inspectorate SZW.

Earlier, after a critical report, the House of Representatives already asked for a ban on meal deliverers who are younger than 16 years old. That ban will come into effect on July 1, at the initiative of D66 and PvdA.

“We see the number of accidents in traffic increasing. That is why we find this work unsafe for children under 16,” said the Inspectorate SZW.

Light labor

In principle, children aged 13, 14 and 15 years may have a side job. But there are rules attached to their work. Young people up to the age of 16 are only allowed to perform ‘light work’ and not work after 7 pm.

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