Glovo distributors, do you consider yourselves true freelancers?
At present, the labour courts of first instance are passing various judgements on the employment relationship of the Glovo company’s delivery drivers, known as “glovers”. In some cases, the labour relationship is qualified as an employee’s and in others as a self-employed “TRADE” worker (i.e. economically dependent).
However, the courts are increasingly opting for determining the relationship as ordinary employment, qualifying the concept of “otherness” and integrating them within companies related to new technologies (work platforms).
Recently, the Social Court number 1 of Madrid has dictated – during this month of April – two sentences in which the existence of an employment relationship for others was confirmed, qualifying the dismissal made to the workers as unjustified, because it does not justify any reason for their dismissal and establishing the collective agreement of logistics and parcels of the Community of Madrid as a reference to fix the employment relationships between the delivery companies and the company, condemning the company to pass through the declaration of unjustified.
In this same sense, the most novel ruling at the time was that issued by Court No. 33 of Madrid on February 11, 2019, which recognized that the relationship should be classified as a labor relationship, understood mainly as a note of alienation that the distributor could never perform his task unrelated to the digital platform in which he is integrated, integration that takes place from the time that each micro task is entrusted and accepted. Listing other essential characteristics such as the fact that the distributor does not assume any type of responsibility towards the suppliers and clients, it is the company that invoices the suppliers and clients for its goods transport activity, integrating into the cost of the service the price that will later be paid to the distributor for the task.
Under another totally opposite criterion, the Social Court No. 17 of Madrid had issued a ruling on 11.01.19 in which it declared that it was proven that the worker provided his services during the hours previously determined, with his own vehicle, his own organizational criteria, not being subject to the disciplinary or organizational power of the company, since he was free to accept or not a request, and once accepted he could reject it. He also had total freedom of organization and decision when selecting the route from the initial position, to the pick-up address and to the delivery address without having established a trajectory or specific location point for the start of the service, the delivery man accepted a model of invoicing by optimal linear or real distance.
In both cases, and without examining the evidence in each of the trials, we must remember that the practice in a company with respect to its “last mile” delivery drivers is usually the same. Therefore, although today we find rulings in both directions, the forecast is that the Superior Courts of Justice of each Community, or ultimately the Supreme Court, will end up establishing a uniform criterion with respect to how to deal with or assess this type of case.