The Spanish government announced last week that riders working for delivery work services platforms such as Deliveroo and UberEats would be recognized as salaried staff following complaints about their working conditions.
Spain would be the first country in the European Union to have such an agreement and the ruling could have a major impact on the gig economy across Europe. According to Agence France-Presse, this is the first legislation passed in Europe that explicitly regulates the status of delivery workers who get around on bicycles and motorcycles and whose numbers have exploded in recent years.
The move comes six months after Spain’s government pledged to clarify the legal status of couriers working for online delivery firms, saying they should be considered employees rather than gig workers. In October 2020, Spain’s labor minister said work was underway on legislation to ensure that delivery cyclists are treated as employees rather than freelance workers.
Work services platforms such as Uber, Deliveroo and Glovo have faced legal battles in Spain in recent years.
Spain’s Labor Minister Yolanda Diaz said, “They are now considered as salaried workers and will enjoy all the relevant protections. Spain is the first country in the European Union to legislate on the matter.”
The agreement is expected to be approved by the cabinet, after which companies will have 90 days to implement it.
While this is a first in the European Union, the UK Supreme Court last month ruled drivers for Uber Technologies Inc. are employees.
Uber will reclassify all 70,000 of its UK drivers as workers, entitling them to the minimum wage, vacation pay and other benefits after the landmark ruling.