Delivery riders get employment rights in Spain

Spain has passed a new law, effective last week, forcing all food delivery companies to hire delivery riders and drivers as employees as opposed to freelance. Trades unions have urged the government to support the new law with close monitoring.

Spain’s trades union confederation said the so-called Riders Law would “put an end to the labor fraud that workers in this sector have suffered for too long.”

The trades union body the CCOO has called for compliance with the law to be monitored, evaluated and reported on. The new law affects an estimated 30,000 workers across the country.

Other new legislation also requires companies in the sector to hand over to worker representatives information on how their algorithms and artificial intelligence systems function in assigning jobs and assessing rider performance. Representatives of the industry say that this threatens their business, with UK based Deliveroo already announcing it is exiting the country in protest.

One delivery riders’ union, Riders for Rights has noted that even with the recent severe heat wave workers had not been offered any form of heat protection or extra pay.

“Companies will continue to fail to comply with the legislation,” the union tweeted. “As long as it is cheaper for them to pay fines than to hire us, this fraud will persist. They do not understand laws and legislations.”

Other same-day delivery couriers are complying with the law. The CCOO has said it is working with Just Eat on new contracts for delivery riders, while Glovo say that they are to hire 2,000 drivers and riders as employees to meet the law’s requirements but to retain the rest of its delivery workforce as freelancers. Uber Eats is to subcontract out certain services.

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