Thursday saw the implementation of a new Spanish law that requires food delivery companies to employ delivery drivers and riders as employees, rather than contractors. Labor unions have called for strict monitoring and inspections to ensure compliance.
Spain’s Trade Union Confederation stated that the Riders Law would “put an halt to the labor fraud that has been affecting workers in this sector for too long.” It also suggested that the labor ministry and its inspectors monitor, evaluate, and report on compliance with the law.
This law defines food delivery drivers as employees of digital platforms, and not self-employed. It covers approximately 30,000 workers.
In May, legislation was passed that requires companies like Glovo in Spain and Uber Eats in America to give information to workers’ legal representatives about the algorithms and artificial intelligence systems they use to assign jobs and assess performance.
The law could affect a 700 million-euro ($851million) food delivery industry in Spain, according to app-based food delivery companies. Deliveroo, a U.K.-based food delivery company, has stated that it will exit the Spanish market until mandatory consultations with workers. Some workers also objected, claiming that the freelance model allowed them more flexibility.
Riders For Rights is a gig economy union. They noted that workers were not offered heat protection or additional pay, with temperatures exceeding 38 degrees Celsius in Spain (100.4 F) on Thursday.
The union tweeted that “Companies will continue failing to comply with the legislation.” This fraud will continue as long as they can afford to pay fines rather than hire us. They don’t understand laws and legislations.
According to the CCOO, it was working with Just Eats to create new riders’ contracts. Glovo stated that it will employ 2,000 delivery workers to comply with the new law, but keep the rest of its workers freelancing. Uber Eats stated that it will subcontract some of its services.