The government of Spain, along with trade unions and employers’ organizations, has agreed to introduce into labor legislation home delivery drivers from platforms such as Deliveroo And UberEats considered salaries, which is unprecedented so far in Europe, this Thursday the Minister of Labor announced.
“They are already salaried workers who will enjoy all protection,” Yolanda Diaz said at a press conference. She congratulated herself on the fact that Spain was “the first country in the European Union to initiate this matter.”
This measure will regulate the status of those distributors on motorcycles or bicycles, whose number has doubled in recent years and who have on numerous occasions denounced the danger they suffer in Spain.
In previous years, paid delivery drivers weren’t given the same labor protection and rights as other employees. For instance, the food delivery platforms usually regard them as independent contractors. As such, they’re paid less than the minimum wage with no sick leave and other statutory benefits like workers’ compensation. Also, with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, paid delivery workers are being exposed to more mental and physical health risks.
The text agreed upon between government, unions and employers “recognizes the presumption of employment for workers who provide paid distribution services through companies that manage this work through computational management of service or working conditions, through a digital platform,” the Ministry of Labor said in a statement.
“I have said many times that the worker who wanders our streets on a bike with a request was not a businessman,” Diaz stressed.
“These people, the primary workers during the epidemic, have sacrificed their lives for us,” he said.
The minister added that “thousands of workers will be employees and will enjoy all rights,” and companies will submit quotations to them “and they will have the entire chain of social protection that they do not have today.”
This means that paid delivery workers will start to receive minimum wage as mandated, avail themselves of sick leave, and enjoy other essential benefits. And like other states that treated delivery drivers as self-employed, they’ll also be given the opportunity to obtain their own self employed insurance. This type of insurance is designed to protect employees who are working for themselves and those who employ the services of people.
Since delivery workers are prone to accidents, injuries, and other health risks associated with COVID-19, having an insurance policy is said to be one of the ways in which they can exercise their rights and protect themselves as self-employed workers and members of the labor sector. The common types of self-employed insurance they can get include professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurance, and employers’ liability insurance for those who have employees.
The text also provides for unions to be informed of “the rules that contain algorithms and artificial intelligence systems that could affect the working conditions governing the platforms.”
In particular, delivery unions have criticized opacity of the algorithms that create worker profiles and set working hours based on them.
The left-wing government is based on a Spanish Supreme Court ruling in September that recognized a business relationship between a delivery operator and Spain’s Glovo, after years of litigation between delivery men and the platforms.
The companies will have three months to get the order. Currently no European country has similar legislation.
On the other hand, the delivery drivers are self-employed in Italy, the United Kingdom and France, the last country where Just Eat recently announced it hired 4,500 delivery drivers on an indefinite contract. As such, it’s important for them to know more on self employed insurance without hassle. In doing so, they could safeguard themselves against the risks associated with the nature of their jobs. Lastly, their governments have created and enforced laws that would ensure their protection and rights as part of the labor sector.
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