Dutch postal giant PostNL will stop working with third party contractors for its delivery centre staff, hiring temporary workers instead.
The company said that while contracting had worked well in the past, the “recent social discussion about contracting” and the desire to offer equal pay to all parcel sorters had caused it to adopt a new approach.
The decision comes a week after the Dutch trade union FNV accused Tempo Team, which provides contract workers to PostNL, of evading the company’s collective labour agreements.
PostNL will begin phasing out its contract agreements this year, with the transition completed by 2020 at the latest. The firm plans to hire at least 500 parcel delivery personnel as permanent employees this year.
Liesbeth Kaashoek, director of parcels and logistics at PostNL, said: “Our people perform excellently every day by delivering more than 800,000 parcels throughout the Netherlands and Belgium. Parcel sorters are an indispensable link in this process.”
“We opted for contracting because our partners are able to carry out the sorting process better and the desire to be relieved of all the concerns involved in steering our sorting processes. We will continue to work on the quality of our service and a healthy future for everyone who works for us.”
Couriers, who are classed as self-employed, will be able to receive pro rata holiday pay and guaranteed earnings of £8.55 per hour by choosing to become “self-employed plus”.
The package works through an opt-in model, meaning that those who wish to retain their current status and earn premium rates can do so.