Government and social agents continue their contacts to reach an imminent agreement on what is known as the ‘rider law’. The road has not been easy and, after several months of tug of war, the Ministry of Labor, in order for the employers to continue negotiating, had to put aside its initial intention to pass a law that would regulate the workers of any digital platform and limit it only to food delivery people at home, that is, to those who provide their services through applications such as Glovo, Deliveroo, Uber or Stuart.
However, the Executive considers that this is only the first step of a rule that will be expanded and has committed to, once approved, open a process to regularize the rest of the platforms through a bill, as explained to this newspaper sources close to the negotiation. Therefore, digital transport platforms such as Cabify or Uber would enter here, or any other type of activity that is sustained through a mobile application. Along these lines, the World Labor Organization (ILO) today asked in a report to initiate a global dialogue to set minimum standards.
But first, the Council of Ministers will have to approve the new norm whose final wording was yesterday afternoon trying to close in a technical meeting between Labor and the social agents and that will turn all the delivery of food at home into salaried employees. The aim is to comply with the recent ruling of the Supreme Court, which last September considered the employment relationship of Glovo workers with their company to be proven and declared that they are false self-employed.
More protection and rights
For this, the Executive will give a period of three months to the platforms, from the entry into force of the new law, to regularize all the distributors and make them employees of their workforce, according to the latest draft to which this has had access newspaper, although this period could be extended as it is one of the pitfalls. They will thus have to register them in the General Scheme and, therefore, pay their social contributions monthly, thus generating greater protection, such as charging at least the minimum wage, having the right to sick leave or work accident, vacations , unemployment benefit or severance pay in the event of being fired. Currently, there are more than 15,000 riders spread throughout the Spanish geography and the vast majority work as self-employed.
But also, in order to clarify the rest of the digital companies, the Executive gives a period of one month from the publication of the new law to constitute the Tripartite Commission for the study of digital platforms in the workplace, which will be integrated by the Ministry of Labor, together with CEOE, Cepyme, CC OO and UGT. Its functions will be to assess the information available to the representations that comprise it and to follow the evolution of the performance of digital platforms in the workplace. In turn, they must publish, at least annually, a report, as well as analyze the reality of digital platforms in all sectors and aspects related to working conditions, in particular in relation to a definition, adapted to these new forms of provision of services, of the notes of alienation and dependency.
The new rule will also modify the Workers’ Statute to guarantee that unions can know what employee data is used by companies that operate with algorithms, how they work and what implications they have for the worker. Thus, it in turn establishes that the agreements will determine the modalities, content and periodicity of access of the unions to the information regarding the parameters and the rules on which the algorithms used by the company are based for decision-making may have a direct or indirect impact on working conditions, job maintenance or profiling, as stated in the text of the new regulation that can still be modified and that has yet to receive the approval of both the unions and the the employer.
The number of digital platforms quintupled
It is unknown how many digital platforms there are currently in Spain. This is one of the data that the unions pressure the Government to know. But according to a report published today by the ILO, their number has increased fivefold in the last decade worldwide, going from 142 in 2010 to 777 in 2020, figures that are surprising for being very scarce. This report further notes that a large proportion of these platforms are concentrated in a few countries, mainly the United States, India, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
However, digital platforms generated worldwide revenues of at least $ 52 billion in 2019, with 70% of this amount being concentrated in just two countries: the United States (49%) and China (22%), while this percentage is much lower in Europe (11%) and in other regions (18%).
It is also not known how many workers provide service to these digital companies, but they are growing relatively fast and that the majority are men, under 35 years old.