Case law: Spanish food delivery drivers are not self-employed.

Published: 25 September 2020

The Spanish Supreme Court held last week that food delivery drivers are employees not self-employed workers. The case was brought by a former worker for Glovo, the most popular food delivery service in Spain along with Deliveroo.

The court found that Glovo was not “a mere intermediary” between the delivery drivers or riders and the restaurants as it had claimed. It was instead “a business that fixes the conditions for the provision of its services, and owns the assets essential to carrying out its services.” The assets included the mobile application which riders had to use to find work.

Although the court has yet to provide a formal written judgement, the court published a press release stating:

Glovo is “…a company that provides delivery and courier services, setting the essential conditions for the provision of said service. And it is the owner of the essential assets to carry out the activity. For this, it uses delivery people who do not have their own and autonomous business organization, who provide their service inserted in the employer’s work organization…”

Glovo has responded by saying it respects the judgement of the Supreme Court and “…awaits the definition of an adequate regulatory framework by the Government and Europe.”

One key question for Glovo and all the other “on-demand services” is how viable is the service if the model has to bear the cost of full employment of its workers?

In the UK, Uber appeared in the Supreme Court in July 2020 over worker rights and the judgement is currently being awaited.