Brazilian court favors iFood by considering that couriers have no employment bond with the company

The delivery app was facing a public lawsuit requiring the recognition of the labor bond

iFood courier. Photo: Shutterstock

This week, the Labor Court of São Paulo, in Brazil, denied a public lawsuit that requested the recognition of employment bond among the Brazilian delivery app iFood and its couriers. Similar to what happened in the country with Uber, when Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice (STJ) has ruled that a driver, who had initially filed the complaint, was, in fact, not an employee of the ride-hailing firm; now, it’s the delivery service that benefits from the same precedent. 

The judge responsible for the case expressed that motorcycle couriers are closer to the figure of freelancers, arguing that the courier is available to work in a schedule defined by themselves, having the option to start and end the journey whenever they want, as well as choosing to work with other competitor apps. 

In a statement to LABS, iFood considered it as a “historic decision”, showing that the Brazilian Justice recognizes how technology has been transforming new economic work relations. “In the New Economy, different job opportunities are generated, and the right of this professional to choose how and when to work must be respected. While this solution is being built, iFood keeps its commitment to dialogue and keep offering income generation opportunities for couriers who choose the app, as well as continuing to evolve with initiatives such as personal accident insurance and educational traffic safety campaigns so that it continues to be the platform of choice for couriers,” said the spokesperson. 

Operating in two models, iFood has more than 83,000 couriers directly linked to the company’s platform, while the others are hired by the restaurants themselves. This recent decision stands for couriers working in the first model. 

“We celebrate this historic decision in the country and in the world that preserves the right of professionals to choose to act flexibly and highlights that the economy is changing with new technologies – we have to think together on how to create modern laws that, at the same time, generate to these professionals income, opportunity and well-being, bringing growth and economic development to our country – this is the future”, said Fabricio Bloisi, CEO of iFood, in the statement. 

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