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A turning point?

| News | Employment Law and Social Security

Alfredo Aspra analyses the resolution of the lawsuit filed by the General Treasury of Social Security against Roodfoods Spain S. L. (Deliveroo) that affects more than 500 home food deliverers for the newspaper Expansión

The Social Court nº 19 of Madrid has estimated the lawsuit filed by the General Treasury of the Social Security against Roodfoods Spain S. L. (Deliveroo) and declares that the plaintiff workers (more than 500 home delivery workers, commonly known as riders) were subject to an employment relationship with the defendant company at the time they rendered their services.

It is important to point out that this resolution, which is not yet firm, develops a detailed and exhaustive list of proven facts, granting a decisive role to the Labour Inspection (ITSS), to conclude on the laboural relationship that links the riders with Deliveroo. For it, it is pointed out as "a data of great relevance, that the Inspection of Work has had the possibility of directly examining the work center of the company demanded and to obtain the first explanations (very habitually, the most credible ones) on the form of development of the work? “. Likewise, the fact that the ITSS has interviewed more than 60 people, which, in the opinion of the Magistrate, allows us to draw minimally certain conclusions.

And the fact that "a part of the distributors, a minority in any case, are opposed to the existence of an employment contract, since the positioning in the process of the same cannot harm the rest of the parties, among which is the General Treasury of the Social Security" does not affect a different conclusion. In effect, it is reiterated and declared that what is essential are not the statements of the parties on the nature of the contract, but the actual content of the obligations assumed, which in the case under trial point to a laboral relationship.

Furthermore, and through the detailed analysis carried out by the magistrate in its resolution, it is concluded that despite the changes in the clauses of the contracts that the company has been outlining, the conditions of execution of the work are substantially identical and determinant of an employment relationship.

Thus, from the data and facts established in the procedure, the concurrence of, among others, the notes of dependence and proximity can be appreciated. Issues such as the fact that the distributors are completely oblivious to the relations existing between the company, the restaurants and the final customers, to the extent that they did not even know the place of the final destination before going to the restaurant to pick up the order or that the company provided the distributors with material means with the advertising of its brand, among which was the rucksack they carried, evidence in the opinion of the magistrate that the company has not limited itself to hire a food transport service in which the essential is the delivery itself without going into the detail of how to perform, but has established with great precision the way in which it has to provide that service, homogenizing it for all deliverers, who are encouraged to present themselves as part of Deliveroo and those who were given means of work with that brand.

And he adds, "this is perfectly understandable considering that it is possible to appreciate according to all logic that what is offered to restaurants and customers is not a mere work of intermediation between them, but a service associated with the Deliveroo brand and its computer application, which is what can really be understood that they know and hire these people ...".

Finally, to emphasize that the fact that the provision of the service can be subcontracted by the deliverer, provided that the company is willing to admit it, is not at all incompatible with the laboral nature of the relationship, in the opinion of the acting magistrate.

Consequently, it is concluded that the deliverymen have executed a personal work in conditions organized and directed by the company, which is the only one that controls the Deliveroo brand, its computer application and all the information that comes from it. 

Read the piece in Expansión.

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