The labor inspectorate in Valencia, Spain, said riders and drivers working in the gig economy — Deliveroo in this case — are salaried workers, not self-employed. “The term ‘self-employed’ does not define their activity,” it determined. “In fact, the civil relationship hides a business relationship.”
This is a textbook definition of the technique used in the so-called gig economy: the declassification of employed work into freelance self-employment. But the difference is clear. All costs and contributions, including insurance, are borne by the worker and not by the company, in order to maximize profits. In response, Deliveroo got a €160,814 fine from the Spanish labor inspectorate for unpaid contributions.
Deliveroo is going to appeal the decision, arguing that riders are “service providers” and allegedly not directly employed by the company in a business relationship. Deliveroo also argues it changed all employment contracts with its riders, not referring to them as “self-employed” but rather as “economically dependent self-employed workers.”