Spanish food-delivery firm Glovo, a subsidiary of German platform Delivery Hero, was ordered this week to pay tens of millions of euros by Spanish authorities.
The penalty, first reported by local media and confirmed to POLITICO, follows the country’s so-called Rider Law — a law passed last year that ordered delivery companies to employ their riders instead of working with independent contractors.
Spain’s Labor Minister Yolanda Diaz told reporters in Madrid that “[Glovo] has violated fundamental labor rights.” “For this reason, action has been taken against the company.”
Glovo was directed in two letters to pay up to €79 million, with the total comprising both a fine and social contributions. The Labor Ministry, which didn’t respond to a request for comment by POLITICO, said in a statement cited by Reuters that the company refused to give more than 10,600 riders in Barcelona and Valencia a labor contract.
Other platforms have been pushing the Spanish government to take action against Glovo — with UberEats directing a letter to Diaz in March to complain about Glovo defying the law.
Spain has positioned itself as a testbed for the whole EU by reclassifying gig workers. In December last year, the European Commission introduced a proposal on platform work, which would reclassify up to 4.1 million platform workers. The EU, however, stopped short of a full reclassification, by introducing a list of criteria to determine whether a gig worker is controlled by a platform as an employee would be.
Lawmakers are currently mulling the proposal. Platforms have lobbied against a Spanish-like approach to the bill, claiming that riders value flexibility. Part of the legislative work might be up to Spain if a deal is not struck before the country takes on the rotating Council presidency in the second half of next year.
Glovo didn’t share a statement on the fine ahead of publication.