In a significant development, Denmark has amended its regulations, allowing couriers working for the food delivery platform Wolt to register as employees to meet the European Union’s (EU) residence criteria. This adjustment is expected to facilitate EU passport-holding Wolt couriers in relocating to Denmark as their work with the company can now qualify them for Danish residency under EU rules.
Previously, these couriers were classified as self-employed or granted residency based on the “sufficient funds” criteria, necessitating evidence of ample funds in their bank accounts to support their stay in Denmark. However, Wolt views its delivery drivers as “courier partners” rather than formal employees.
The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) announced this change, stating that Wolt couriers would now be considered employees by SIRI for the purpose of EU residence registration.
“Until now, SIRI has registered Wolt courier partners either as self-employed persons or as persons with sufficient funds. This is partly due to SIRI’s assessment that Wolt was not the couriers’ employer,” the statement from SIRI noted. “Now, SIRI assesses that Wolt, in connection with the evaluation of residence under the EU regulations, as a rule shall be considered as an employer for the couriers, and the couriers can thus be considered as workers if the other conditions for obtaining the status of a worker are fulfilled.”
To register for a Danish residence document, Wolt couriers with EU passports can provide documentation of their courier partner agreement with Wolt and evidence of at least three months of work, including invoices or paychecks of substantial scale.
Those couriers already registered under the sufficient funds rule can re-register as workers by submitting an application form to SIRI along with the required documentation.
However, it is important to note that this change in practice at SIRI specifically pertains to Wolt courier partners and not other food delivery companies, as the status of workers under EU rules depends on the unique structure of the platform company in question and the nature and scope of the work.
Earlier this year, a ruling by Denmark’s occupational injury authority found that Wolt was liable to compensate delivery drivers for work-related injuries, a decision that the company has contested.
This update signals an evolving regulatory landscape that addresses the employment status of gig workers in the food delivery industry, reflecting the ongoing debate about their classification and rights.