First collective agreement signed for platform workers in Spain.

TH – 01/2022

After initial doubts about its effectiveness, the "Ley Rider" (see our last year's news) has now brought movement to the working conditions of platform workers after all. 


After several reports from the labour inspectorate and contradictory rulings from the lower courts, the Supreme Court in Spain ruled in September 2020 that platform workers were employees and not self-employed. Therefore, general labour and social security laws would have to apply to them.

This ruling was followed by a process of social dialogue which then led to the approval of Law 12/2021 (better known as the "Ley Rider"). This presupposes an employment contract between the employee and the platform since the former is in fact subject to decisions resulting from the algorithm of the latter. The law is less ground-breaking in its content - the presumption of an employment contract had already been established in California - than in its formation: namely, through an agreement between representative trade union federations and employer associations in Spain.

...with tangible results

The EU followed Spain's path: the presumption of an employment contract between the employee and the platform is also the path chosen in the European Commission's proposed directive published last month. And now, the long journey in Spain has culminated in the signing of the first collective agreement between the delivery platform Just Eat and two major trade union federations.

This is at least a first step toward normalising platform work within the labour market there. Wages, working hours and general conditions are regulated for those employed on platforms. A fixed minimum wage is just as much a part of the contracts as night bonuses or entitlement to vacation and part-time employment. Furthermore, a maximum daily working time and two weekly rest days are envisaged. The necessary work equipment such as smartphone or any required protective clothing must be provided by the employer.

Human monitoring of the algorithms

Finally, the platform undertakes to respect the privacy policies in force and to inform employees at all times about the algorithm it uses to manage its work. A so-called "Algorithm Committee" which lays down the obligation for transparency and a final human decision when using algorithms is to be formed for monitoring purposes.

Spain as a role model

It is to be hoped that the other Member States, with the involvement of the social partners concerned, will follow Spain's example. In any case, a first step has been taken.