Deliveroo will say goodbye to Spain. The news, which was known yesterday, did not take the delivery people by surprise, since the company already announced last July that it would do an internal consultation to assess whether or not it continued to operate in our country. In this way, the home delivery platform will put an end to your stay in Spain, which has lasted six years. The relationship between both parties has been marked by litigation in court that the company has maintained with its delivery men, who worked as freelancers despite the fact that many judgments ruled that there was an employment relationship.
All this fighting in court
It ended in May with the approval of the ‘rider’ law by the Government, which obliges from mid-August to home delivery platforms to
hire delivery men, in addition to allowing unions to monitor the algorithms that determine their working conditions. This rule is now in the Constitution after the complaints from Vox and PP. Both parties explain that the Government approved it by means of a decree law and then give the platforms three months to adapt to it, a fact that contradicts “the ‘situation of extraordinary and urgent need’ constitutionally required” in a decree to move forward .
The entry into force of this law was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Deliveroo, which began to carry out an internal consultation on its continuity or not in Spain. Even so, it is not the only reason why the company leaves our country. In addition, it must be remembered that there is a judgment of the Supreme Court of this same year in which it was established that the 532 delivery men in Madrid who denounced the company were false self-employed. At the time, Deliveroo did not accept it and claimed that it only affected “contracts that were discontinued three years ago.” That is, the platform remained firm in its not intention to hire its distributors despite the sentences and, later, the ‘rider’ law.
Now, to leave Spain Deliveroo will have to hire its almost
4,000 delivery men of our country to later dismiss them through an ERE that agreed yesterday. The distributors will receive 45 days’ salary per year that they worked with the platform, while those who do not reach 1,000 euros with these conditions will receive this amount. It is not the first ERE that it undertakes in Spain, since in July 2020 it undertook one for the workers of its offices in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, that is, for almost 100 people.
This divestment in its offices already gave clues to the future intentions of Deliveroo in Spain. The company, present in twelve markets, has not managed in its six years of operations in our country to scratch enough market share from its competitors, while in other countries is the first or second operator. Thus, as he explained last July, continuing in our country “would require a very high level of investment with a very uncertain potential return in the long term that could affect the economic viability of the market for the company.”
Competition in the food delivery sector in Spain is very great. According to Statista, Just Eat Takeaway is the market leader, while Telepizza, which has its own fleet and is also present on the various platforms, is the second preferred option. The third place is held by Glovo, while to find Deliveroo you have to go to sixth place, behind Domino’s and Uber Eats. Therefore, the ‘rider’ law is one of the keys to the march of the British company, but not the only one. As the platform recognized, Spain only represents 2% of its total gross operations.
It cannot be ruled out that in the future there will be more concentration in the food delivery sector in Spain. Increasing competition and a demand that, although it has exploded with the pandemic, is still considerably lower in Spain that in other countries of the world are some of the reasons for this.