Law classifying delivery riders, drivers as employees takes effect

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In Spain, food delivery companies need to treat their riders and drivers as employees and not freelance contractors, as mandated under a new law that went into full swing Thursday.

According to the country’s Trade Union Confederation or known in Spanish as the CCOO, the so-called Riders Law would “put an end to the labor fraud that workers in this sector have suffered for too long..”

Spain’s labor ministry and inspectors are being urged by the CCOO to monitor, evaluate, and report to make sure that the law stays in place.

Instead of being regarded as self-employed, the new law counts food delivery riders, which is at approximately 30, 000, as employees of the delivery companies.

Companies like Spain’s Glove and America’s UberEats also need to provide the process on how they assign tasks and evaluate performance to worker legal representatives, as mandated in a law passed in May.

But the law is viewed by app-based food delivery businesses to be a threat to the country’s 700-million-euro industry.

Deliveroo, a delivery service based in the U.K., already expressed its thought to leave the Spanish market.

Apart from the companies, some workers also go against the law, citing flexibility they enjoyed as freelancers.

A gig economy union called Riders For Rights said that workers were deprived of extra compensation and heat protection as the country is suffering from the extreme heat that reached beyond 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 F) on Thursday.

“Companies will continue to fail to comply with the legislation,” the union said in a tweet, as reported by AP News. “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.”