December 1, 2020

reflect the “implicit” direction and key role of the ‘app’


The future regulation of work on digital platforms to combat false self-employed workers, the expanded ‘Rider Law’, already has a first draft. The social dialogue table between the Ministry of Labor, the unions and the employers negotiates a text, which has been accessed by elDiario.es, in which various changes are addressed in the Workers’ Statute to try to reinforce the labor status of the workers of these platforms, most of which work as freelancers in a situation of fraud, at least on delivery platforms such as Glovo, Deliveroo Y Amazon, as investigated by the Labor Inspectorate. The document refers to the organization and direction that is carried out “implicitly” by these companies, as well as the role of the application (app) and the technology of these companies as the “primary agent” of the activity, to treat of tying up defaulting companies to hire their employees.

The cleaning riders: precarious, without a contract and loading their own bleach

The cleaning riders: precarious, without a contract and loading their own bleach

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On this occasion, the social dialogue table has not started with a legislative proposal from the Ministry of Labor, but in a first meeting Yolanda Díaz’s team collected the positions of the social agents on this regulation and the draft is still being prepared. open to changes, with the inclusion of proposals from negotiators. For example, the text states that the Ministry of Labor must create a registry of digital platforms, proposed by UGT, within a period of two months, which will be publicly accessible and in which all companies will have the obligation to register as well as submit the algorithm they use.

The regulation against false freelancers on digital platforms was a commitment of Work, which was somewhat postponed due to the pandemic. The urgency of addressing this issue is linked above all to the continuous acts of the Labor Inspection and sentences that indicate the existence of false self-employed on delivery platforms, such as Glovo, Deliveroo and Uber Eats, to which the giant has recently joined of Amazon e-commerce, with the official registration as workers of some 4,000 distributors in Madrid and Barcelona by the labor authority. These workers were also considered “essential” in the toughest moments of the pandemic, which is why they continued to work in these irregular conditions, since multinationals are currently appealing the Inspection reports in the courts and do not modify their work model.

The Supreme as a reference

Neither did Glovo, despite the setback of the first Supreme Court ruling on work on these digital platforms, which concluded that their delivery men are false self-employed, regarding the case of a delivery man (or rider), Isaac Cuende. Sources of the negotiation point out that this judgment of the High Court is serving as the basis for the regulation that Labor intends to approve and that inspires questions collected in the draft such as the central role of digital platforms and technology when they function as “the primary agent of the activity “, either by its coordination and organization of the service or by having the” key assets “for its execution.

The draft includes the modification of a law on minimum safety and health measures at work, the revision of two articles of the Workers’ Statute and the inclusion in this of an additional provision, which is the one that most reinforces the indications of employment on digital platforms. One of the issues under discussion is how far the regulation of platforms should go, given that there are companies of very different types and sectors of activity. At the moment, the draft includes two types of platforms to which the regulations would apply: the distribution or distribution of any product and services in the family home. Sources of social dialogue point out that this selection is still open to discussion, in which the unions push for the regulation to be as broad as possible.

The provision tries to bind the platforms as employers, through the organization and direction in an “implicit way”, manifested for example in situations in which the people who provide these services may be affected by their working conditions, the maintenance of their employment or their remuneration, among others. The possibility is contemplated for workers to render their service with “free schedules”.

The document also includes the right of platform workers to know their “effective weekly time slots” at least 48 hours in advance and contemplates that the habitual use of equipment and tools owned by the worker during their workday “will have a specific remuneration” . It also addresses the obligation for employers to guarantee “the safety and health” of workers when using their work equipment, including those “essential” for the proper development of work activity, · even when they are jobs made available by the workers themselves “.

The negotiation of the legislative text is still open, with the next meeting still not scheduled, but which could be next week, according to social dialogue sources. The employer is the one that faces a more complex role at the table, since it has among its members companies that defend conflicting interests, such as Just Eat (with a work model of workers, outsourced) and Glovo (with another of freelancers), among other.

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