Spanish Trade Unions to Monitor Gig Economy Apps

Spanish trade unions will be given access to the app algorithms used by gig economy businesses to manage their workforce.  According to Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz, the move will enable working conditions to be monitored and stop workers being underpaid in low-demand hours.  “It will make it possible to avoid, as is currently the case, algorithmic punishments for workers who work in certain time slots, penalties for performance that can be biased, or even the simple fact of promoting or going on strike,” Diaz told reporters.

It forms part of forthcoming legislation to bolster protections for gig economy workers, typically hired on a self-employed basis, that will require employers to put them on staff contracts.  The bill still has needs a green light from the cabinet, after which companies will have 90 days to implement it.

In an unrelated development, a court in the Netherlands has ordered car-booking apps Ola and Uber to be more transparent about the data they use as the basis for decisions on dismissals, wage deductions and the use of surveillance systems.  The action was led by a group of UK drivers and a Portuguese driver who filed three separate cases against Ola and Uber seeking fuller access to their personal data.

In the last few months there have been strong signals from the European Commission that it plans to legislate to increase gig workers’ rights as employees, which we have covered here.

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