Amazon must compensate self-employed couriers who used their own vehicles for deliveries, a Spanish court has ruled.
The Madrid labour court said this week the tech giant would have to pay social security contributions for the 2,166 people it hired under the guise of external contractors within the now-defunct ‘Amazon Flex’ scheme, and recognise them as regular staff during the periods they made deliveries.
The court did not reveal the total amount to be paid.
Amazon scrapped the Flex program in Spain last year after a 2020 Supreme Court ruling forced companies to hire freelance couriers as staff, and the government introduced a pioneering law to the same effect in 2021.
“Amazon is a company that is not only a logistics and transport operator, but also a courier and messenger service provider,” the judge said.
The company has repeatedly argued it is not in the transportation business.
According to the court, Amazon made all decisions related to the service – including schedules, geographic distribution and remuneration – and used an app to direct and coordinate the couriers, who ‘lacked their own and autonomous business organisation’.