In Spain, home deliverers will now be “presumed” employees

This is a first in Europe. The Spanish government and the social partners have reached an agreement to introduce into the labor code a “Presumption of wage employment” for home meal deliverers working for platforms such as Deliveroo or UberEats, the Spanish Ministry of Labor announced this Thursday, March 11.

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These persons “Are now employees and will be able to benefit from all the protections” resulting from this status, announced the Spanish Labor Minister Yolanda Diaz, stressing that Spain was “The first EU country to legislate on this subject”.

These delivery men, by bicycle or motorbike, and whose number has exploded in recent years, have repeatedly denounced the precariousness of their working conditions in Spain.

A bicycle delivery man “with an app is not an entrepreneur”

The agreement concluded between the government, the unions and the employers consists in including in the labor code this category of persons, by recognizing “The presumption of wage employment for workers providing remunerated delivery services via companies performing this task thanks to an algorithm managing the service or working conditions, through a digital platform”, indicates a press release from the ministry.

“I have said many times that a worker who travels our streets by bike with an app is not an entrepreneur”, underlined Yolanda Diaz.

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From now on, “Thousands of workers will be employees, [les entreprises] will contribute for them and they will be entitled to all the social protection that they do not have today ”, she clarified.

The text also provides that trade unions “Must be informed of the rules governing algorithms and artificial intelligence systems that may have an impact on working conditions”, according to the press release.

The allocation of working hours based on profiles created in an opaque way by algorithms is highly criticized by delivery men.

Three months to become compliant

The left-wing government relied on a Spanish Supreme Court ruling in September, which recognized the existence of a ” work relationship “ between a delivery man and the Spanish company Glovo, after numerous legal disputes between delivery men and platforms in recent years in Spain.

Companies will have three months to comply with this modification of the labor code.

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No European country currently has such legislation. Delivery men are considered to be self-employed in Italy, the United Kingdom and France, where JustEat recently announced the recruitment of 4,500 delivery men on permanent contracts.

In 2016, the Belgian Parliament passed a law that entered into force in March 2017 on collaborative platforms establishing a 10% tax on income derived from this work. But according to the unions, the law does not offer a status to the delivery man or social coverage via his employer.

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