Work raises possible criminal responsibilities of the platforms for their "flagrant" breach of the Rider Law

Work raises possible criminal responsibilities of the platforms for their "flagrant" breach of the Rider Law

The Ministry of Labor will defend the Rider Law with "all the instruments" available. Among them, it does not rule out that the digital delivery companies have to assume "criminal responsibilities" by "flagrantly" infringing the legal framework, they confirm to in the Ministry headed by Yolanda Díaz. It is the second message that Labor launches before the pulse of the legislation of two of the most important companies in the sector: Glovo from the beginningbut now also Uber Eats.

The Labor warning has come from the Secretary of State for Employment, Joaquín Pérez Rey, in a parenthesis during his vacation before the Uber Eats maneuver. The company announced on Monday that it will return to the autonomous delivery model despite the Rider Law, just like Glovo does, for which it is still in the "test" phase.

Upon learning of the passage of Uber Eats, the Ministry of Labor sent a first notice on Tuesday: it will be "relentless" to defend the legislation and even warned of possible "Responsibilities" of restaurants for the use of illegal delivery systems.

This Wednesday, the Secretary of State gave an interview on Al Rojo Vivo de la Sexta to reiterate that warning and increase the pressure against digital delivery platforms.

"I insist: there are no business models that can challenge labor rights," said Joaquín Pérez Rey. "And in the face of any challenge, obviously, the State, the Ministry of Labor, the Labor and Social Security Inspectorate have the necessary instruments to demand responsibilities and, naturally, ensure that the law is complied with in all its dimensions."

Until now, the Ministry of Labor has persecuted the fraud of false self-employed through the Labor Inspection. The public body dedicated to controlling compliance with labor regulations has signed numerous resolutions with infractions against these companies, such as Glovo, Deliveroo and Uber Eats, for failing to comply with the Workers' Statute before the Rider Law was approved.

These resolutions in general have focused on registering delivery people (false self-employed) as employees and demanding millionaire sums from companies for unpaid Social Security contributions.

One time the Supreme Court has already ruled against these models of false self-employment and that the Government reinforced the regulatory framework with the Rider Law to prevent these abuses, Glovo's refusal to hire its delivery men −changing some elements of its self-employed system− has led the Labor Inspectorate to act again from scratch in the company.

Now, faced with the new challenges to the law, the Ministry of Labor plans to take another step against companies that break the law. In addition to possible administrative sanctions, as confirmed by, it does not rule out that companies must respond criminally.

In the interview, Joaquín Pérez Rey insisted that, although restaurants and other establishments may have some responsibility for the false self-employed, "those most responsible" are the delivery platforms for "a flagrant and announced breach of the law".

This "flagrant" breach will be "reprimanded with all the sanctioning instruments at our disposal," warned the Secretary of State. Through the LISOS, legislation with which infractions can be sanctioned by administrative means, but also the 'number two' of the Ministry of Labor has mentioned that this labor fraud could give rise to "criminal responsibilities".

The professor of Labor Law at the University of Valencia Adrián Todolí, an expert in platform economics, recalls that the step of prosecuting the actions of these companies criminally would correspond "to the Prosecutor's Office." In the absence of specifying a specific crime, the Penal Code includes several crimes against the rights of workers and Social Security fraud.

Todolí states that Spain would not be the first country to prosecute these platforms through criminal channels for their breach of labor legislation. "France and Italy have done it," warns the Doctor of Law.

In the case of France, it resulted in a conviction by a Paris court to pay the maximum fine of 375,000 euros for its abuse of false self-employment and also imposed Two Deliveroo executives sentenced to one year in prison.

"A lot of work has been done to force these companies to comply with the law, but it has been seen that it has not worked. That there are companies that do not seem to want to comply or that they are going to find all the formulas to not do so. If the Government wants the legislation to be complied with, it has to be much more forceful, take one more step to make that norm effective," Todolí considers.

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