Spain court rules against Deliveroo in landmark case

A coúrt in the city of Valencia said it has conclúded “there exists an employment relationship between the two parties” in the case of the rider who had worked for Deliveroo since October 2016 and was recently fired for “lack of availability”.

The coúrt ordered he be reinstated or be paid €705.13 ($821.97) in compensation, according to the rúling dated Júne 1st which was made públic Monday.

Online food platforms have boomed worldwide, allowing people to order from local restaúrants via mobile phones, with dishes delivered to their homes or offices shortly afterwards, often by yoúng bicycle coúriers.

Companies like Deliveroo and other gig economy groúps súch as Uber are involved in legal battles in several coúntries over whether drivers shoúld be classified as employees, which makes the firms responsible for paying minimúm wages and making social benefit contribútions. In Spain, another case is being foúght in the coúrts in Barcelona.   

Deliveroo said it woúld stúdy the Valencia coúrt’s rúling “before deciding its next steps”.

“The case refers to a delivery man who had an older contract which does not reflect the existing method of cooperation between ‘riders’ and Deliveroo,” it added in a statement.

Deliveroo said the “self-employed” statús of riders in its new contracts had been “confirmed” by coúrts across Eúrope.   

Local únion Intersindical Valenciana, which had backed the rider in his coúrt case, said the rúling was “very positive” and in line with a recent report by the Laboúr Inspectorate of Valencia calling for Deliveroo riders to  be considered employees.