By Laura Kemp • 12 May 2021 • 16:26
Delivery "Riders" In Spain To Become Hired Personnel.
Credit: FaceMePLS flickr
FOOD delivery companies in Spain now have three months to employ their “riders” as staff due to new rules approved yesterday, May 11.
Food delivery companies in Spain now have three months to employ their “riders” as staff due to new rules approved yesterday, May 11, as reported by Tech Crunch. The government approved one of the first laws in Europe that addresses the rights of gig-economy workers.
The law aims to clarify thousands of riders rights following Spain’s Supreme Court ruling last year that companies must hire them as employees. Labour Minister, Yolanda Diaz, said: “The regulation approved today … places us at the forefront of a technological change that cannot leave labour rights behind.”
There is a worldwide debate unfolding on how to regulate gig-economy workers’ rights, and the European Commission has opened a public consultation period regarding the potential of EU-wide rules.
The new laws in Spain will come into force immediately and companies now have 90 days to comply. According to the labour ministry’s calculations, nearly 17,000 riders without a contract have already been identified.
Uber has allegedly criticised the new regulations saying: “This regulation will directly hurt thousands of couriers who use food delivery apps for much-needed flexible earnings opportunities and made it clear they do not want to be classified as employees,” a spokesman said.
“The decree approved today by the cabinet is a hard blow for the future of the digital economy in Spain
Even though the new legislation makes it more difficult for businesses to have freelance “riders”, labour experts have expressed that it does not fully resolve the couriers’ legal situation and further court battles are anticipated.
Most delivery companies, however, have started planning for the changes and implementing new business models that will allow them to continue to be profitable.
According to “riders”, Glovo has decided to hire some couriers through temporary employment agencies. While Just Eat has already hired some of its workers on contracts.
The government has also approved new regulations that will mean companies have to explain to their staff how their workload-sharing algorithms work.
This transparency requirement will affect all platforms, not just food delivery companies.
“Workers have the right to know what motivates business decisions,” said Diaz. “Algorithms are going to be put at the service of the majority.”
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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