A record fine is being sought against PostNL


The Mechelen labor prosecutor’s office opened an investigation in 2021 after a social inspection revealed various violations, including undeclared work, during checks carried out at parcel delivery warehouses. The working auditor then spoke of “structural social fraud” in parcel delivery companies operating in Belgium as subcontractors for the Dutch company PostNL.

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The Labor Office ordered the temporary closure of several warehouses. The case was investigated. Three top managers, including the former head of PostNL in Belgium, were issued arrest warrants for a week in 2022.

PostNL does not have its own couriers in Belgium. It works with subcontractors who use their staff and equipment.

“Big Disturbance”

For the auditor of the work, it is a question of “widespread interference” by PostNL Cargo and PostNL Paketten in the management of its subcontractors. This means that the employees of the subcontractors must respond directly to PostNL when the service provided is not satisfactory. However, it believes that in such cases PostNL should contact the management of these subcontractors.

Definitive clash between “harmful” employer and union delegate who had “desire to cause harm”

For the audience, it is “illegal provision’ : the delivery drivers are in fact in the service of PostNL, which must therefore be held responsible for the infringements that have been recorded. In the eyes of the audience, it was PostNL that determined personnel policy, engagement and the selection of drivers. PostNL would bring in new drivers and after a trial period decide if they can continue.

The labor prosecutor’s office requested the acquittal of three top managers as well as PostNL Holding.

PostNL’s defense, which challenges any infringement, pleads on Friday.

GLS was also prosecuted for offenses found among its subcontractors in 2021. In March, however, a court acquitted GLS but sentenced 17 subcontractors to fines of between €800 and €14,400, which were partially suspended as the drivers’ situation had since been amended.



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