THE SPANISH government is exploring legal action against delivery service Glovo if it continues to refuse to obey the law and give its ‘riders’ work contracts. The company treats these staff as what are known in Spain as ‘false freelancers’, thus saving money by paying them as independent contractors.
The Socialist Party-led administration of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez introduced what was dubbed the ‘rider law’ in 2021, in a bid to get these delivery drivers on proper work contracts. The legislation included prison sentences for company employees who are responsible for the labour conditions of staff.
However, despite multi-million-euro fines levied on offenders, Glovo has reportedly ignored the new legislation according to a report in Spanish daily El Pais.
The secretary of state for employment, Joaquin Perez Rey, told the newspaper that the government is now resorting to the courts to force these companies to comply. While he did not specifically mention Glovo, other sources told the daily that it was in the administration’s sights.
Glovo has already racked up €205 million in fines, but the company said earlier this year that it had not paid a penny yet given that it is appealing all of the sanctions in the courts.
The delivery service insists that it will be exonerated by the courts and that it will not have to cover the fines.
The Spain-based company currently accounts for 25% of the market, and is the biggest such service in the country. It is followed by Uber Eats with 21% and Just Eat with 18%, according to figures cited by El Pais.
So far, no similar fines have come to light against those other companies.