New report provides first assessment of working conditions in the Spanish platform economy

Posted on 13.06.2024
Fairwork Spain report blog cover

Researchers at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford conducted an in-depth study of seven platform companies across four economic sectors in Spain and found the majority unable to evidence a minimum standard of fair work. This means that many of the around 2.6 percent of working-age people in the country who depend on platform work as their main source of income (and the up to 18.5 percent who work via platforms more occasionally) face low pay and dangerous conditions at work. Given Spain’s reputation for innovative regulatory interventions meant to protect gig workers (namely its “Rider Law”) the findings of this report are important for pointing to the gaps that still exist in protections for workers.

Alberto Riesco-Sanz, professor of Sociology of Work at UCM said:

“For the first time, we have looked at companies offering ride-hailing, food delivery, home maintenance and mounting services, and home cleaning services to rate them on how they treat their workers. This provides a helpful guide for both regulators and customers who use these platforms. The room for improvement in labour protection in the platform economy in Spain is therefore still wide: both in terms of setting more ambitious labour standards and in their effective application to the whole of a platform economy that continues to spread in through new sectors.”

Co-author Arturo Lahera-Sánchez, professor of Ergonomics at UCM said:

“Despite the progress made in Spain since the approval of the internationally innovative Rider Law, working and employment conditions in the platform economy are still precarious, with modest job quality standards. This Fairwork Spain report allows us to formulate recommendations to the platforms on how to enhance their future scores through possible organisational improvements. Our report also informs citizens who use platform services about the working conditions behind the digital applications they consume.”


This new report, “Fairwork Spain Ratings 2024: A Long Way to Go for Labour Protection in the Platform Economy”, ranks platforms against five principles of fair work, giving each company a score out of ten according to how fairly they treat workers. La Pájara, topped the ranking with a score of eight out of a possible 10 points. Just Eat platform scored seven points, while Cabify, Uber, and TaskRabbit scored just two points. The remaining two platforms, Glovo and MyPoppins, have not provided sufficient evidence to be awarded any of the 10 possible points.

Key findings:

  • Fair Pay – Only 1 (Just Eat) of the 7 platforms (La Pájara, Cabify, Glovo, MyPoppins, TaskRabbit and Uber) can ensure their workers earn the minimum wage after costs.
  • Fair Conditions – 2 out of the 7 platforms (Just Eat, La Pájara) provide sufficient protection from task-related risks in their daily work.
  • Fair Contracts – 3 of the platforms analysed (Just Eat, La Pájara, Taskrabbit) provided evidence of clear and accessible contracts or terms of service.
  • Fair Management – 3 of the 7 platforms (Just Eat, La Pájara, Taskrabbit) have a formalised process where workers can appeal disciplinary decisions from the platform.
  • Fair Representation – 4 platforms (Just Eat, La Pájara, Cabify and Uber) allow for collective representation of workers.

Researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid (María Arnal, Álvaro Briales, Arturo Lahera, Pablo Meseguer, Ana Negro, Antonio Ramírez, Juan Carlos Revilla, Alberto Riesco, Francisco J. Tovar) are calling for stronger protections and more robust labour standards in Spain’s platform economy.


As part of Fairwork’s commitment to holding platforms accountable for their labour practices, the project has launched the Fairwork Pledge. The pledge aims to encourage other organisations, such as universities, companies and investors, to announce their public support for decent working conditions in the platform economy, guided by the five principles of Fairwork.

Professor Mark Graham, Professor of Internet Geography at Oxford Internet Institute and Director of Fairwork, said:

“The low scores of many popular platforms in the Fairwork Spain league table clearly demonstrate the need for regulatory intervention to ensure gig workers are no longer falling through the cracks, further exacerbated through the pandemic. As part of our vision for a fairer future of work, we’re setting out a pathway to realise that ambition through the launch of the Fairwork Pledge. We urge organisations and investors to sign up to the pledge today and help our vision of fair work become a reality for all platform workers.”