Spain: Glovo fined again for violating labor laws

Spanish delivery platform Glovo has been fined a new 57 million euros for labor code violations, specifically for hiring couriers as self-employed workers, Spain’s labor ministry said Friday.

This new fine brings to 205 million euros the total amount of sanctions imposed in recent months by the Spanish Labor Inspectorate on a platform owned by the German group Delivery Hero since last summer, the ministry told AFP.

Most of this new €57 million fine was due to irregularities in the recruitment of 7,000 self-employed couriers in Madrid when they should have been treated as employees, according to the Labor Inspectorate.

But Glovo has also been sanctioned for forcing about 800 irregular delivery workers of foreign nationality to work, and without work permits, according to the ministry, has been involved in a showdown with delivery platforms for several months.

“No company, large or small, should remain illegal in Spain,” communist labor minister Yolanda Diaz told reporters. “I hope and wish” that Glovo now “enforces” the law, she insisted.

Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s government passed a labor code reform passed in May 2021 to introduce an “employment presumption” for all couriers using delivery apps such as Uber Eats, Glovo or Deliveroo.

This text, called “Ryder’s law”, led to the hiring of thousands of couriers, who were still considered “independent”, but ran into the reluctance of some platforms, notably Glovo, accused by detractors of circumventing the reform.

In an interview with AFP, Glovo assured that the facts the Labor Inspectorate accused her of were “before the entry into force” of this text, and specified that she was going to appeal the decision of the Labor Inspectorate.

“The proposed sanction refers to an operating model that no longer exists in Spain,” and “there is no labor inspectorate report or any judicial decision on the new model currently in place in Spain,” the platform said.

Following the passage of the Horseman Act, Glovo announced that it was going to pay delivery people working in its online supermarkets, but that food delivery people would remain independent based on a new status that should increase their autonomy.

Then the two main Spanish unions, UGT and CCOO, took over the labor inspectorate.

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