Europe

The court decision in Spain: bike couriers — not freelancers

The Supreme Court of has ruled that cycling couriers who work for an online company offering delivery services should be considered regular employees, not freelancers. The court thus sided with plaintiff Isaac Cuende from Madrid, who filed a complaint against his employer, Glovo. Will the verdict put an end to the practice of hiring staff on dubious terms, which is widespread in Spanish delivery services?

Down with dubious employment contracts!

The authorities have an obligation to ensure proper working conditions,” writes the newspaper El Pais:

“The court’s decision should be enough to put a flat spot on the labor status of the employees of such platforms. The Ministry of Labor must take advantage of this decision, which, although not binding — but it leads to a single legal standard — to put an end to the practice of conflicting court decisions, and at the same time to fulfill the promise made to businesses and trade unions, namely, to submit as soon as possible a draft of a new legal settlement. Glovo has already announced that it awaits the introduction of a new legal standard. There is no reason to postpone the decision in a long box and leave unchanged the dubious working conditions of this category of workers”.

It is necessary to preserve the delivery services

The El Economista business edition, on the contrary, advocates a flexible approach:

“This verdict puts delivery services in a very difficult position. Needless to say, the court’s decision must be respected, but this should not interfere with the debate about how compatible such activities are with full pay and the social package. This complex problem is not so easy to solve. The government must find new ways and offer business flexible solutions, especially since the debate in the society (and the government, in which, by the way, opinions on this issue are divided) shows that it is necessary to preserve this so popular service.”



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