Public Defender Finds Discrimination Based on Dissent in Labour Relations towards Wolt Courier

On January 30, 2024, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the Wolt Georgia platform with a recommendation to eliminate discrimination based on dissent in labour relations.

According to the case materials, due to publicly talking about thee problems related to working conditions and other protest activities, the company blocked the courier's access to the application. However, the company indicated non-fulfillment of labour duties for two weeks as a motive.

Based on the latest standards developed by international institutions and the courts of different countries, the Public Defender considered that the couriers working through the platform, regardless of their "partner" status, are persons in a labour relationship with the company and, therefore, they have the right to enjoy guarantees provided for by labour legislation.

In addition, the Public Defender considers one of the conditions in the company's contract to be problematic, according to which, the employer can terminate the contract if the courier does not fulfill his labour duties for two weeks. Accordingly, the contract gives the employer the right to terminate the employment relationship with all those persons who refuse to use the application due to protest for the improvement of working conditions. According to the Public Defender, this condition in the contract may have a discriminatory effect towards couriers. In addition, it should be noted that the reason named by the company for terminating the employment contract contradicts the position of Wolt itself, that the schedule of couriers is free and they can determine their working time according to their wishes.

Based on the above, the Public Defender addressed Wolt Georgia to immediately restore the courier’s access to the application; not to allow discriminatory treatment due to dissent or on other grounds in labour relations in the future and to ensure the implementation of the equality policy in the company.

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