New law establishes protective measures to be implemented by delivery app companies during the pandemic

Following legal initiatives taken by some States and Municipalities, the Federal Government has enacted Law No. 14,297/2022, which establishes that delivery app companies must ensure several protective measures for the benefit of the professionals who make the companies’ deliveries.

The Law’s provisions define delivery app companies as those whose main activity is the intermediation, through electronic platforms, between the supplier of delivery products and services and their consumers (article 2, item I).

Among the protective measures established by the Law is the obligation of the company to contract accident insurance, without any deductible, on behalf of the delivery professionals registered with it, exclusively for accidents occurring during withdrawal and delivery of products and services. The insurance must cover personal injuries, permanent or temporary disability, and death (article 3). In case the delivery professional is registered with two different delivery apps, the insurance indemnity will be borne by the company for which the delivery professional was providing the service at the time of the accident (article 3, sole paragraph).

Another relevant measure established by the Law is the duty conferred upon the delivery app companies to provide financial assistance to delivery professionals who are on leave due to coronavirus infection for a period of 15 (fifteen) days, which may be extended for other 2 (two) periods of 15 (fifteen) days each upon presentation of proof or medical report.

The Law also obliges delivery app companies to inform its professionals about the risks of contamination by the coronavirus, as well as to provide them with information on preventive care to avoid infection and spread of the virus (article 5).

Although the new Law expressly mentions that the rules stipulated therein, in particular those regarding the benefits and obligations of delivery app companies, will not serve as a basis for defining the legal nature of the employment relationship/bond with the delivery professionals, the responsibilities assigned to delivery app companies are generally those imposed on employers in an employment relationship, either by reason of provision in a collective rule – in relation to the payment of insurance – or by legal provision – article 60, paragraph 3, of Federal Law No. 8,213/1991. Thus, it is possible that the subject will become controversial in the judicial sphere.

In any case, in view of the obligation to comply with Law No. 14,297/2022, it is recommended that the various aspects of the relationship between delivery app companies and their riders be evaluated in order to identify potential points for improvement.

In case of non-compliance, the Law establishes a warning and a fine of BRL 5,000.00 (five thousand reais) for every infraction committed.

We additionally point out a provision—vetoed by the President—which obliged delivery app companies to provide food to delivery riders infected by the coronavirus through the use of public food programs (Law No. 6,321/1976). Nevertheless, the Law still establishes the obligation of companies to provide delivery riders with masks, alcohol sanitizer, potable water, as well as the right to use their sanitary facilities.

Despite having its validity restricted to the end of the public health emergency situation (Espin), Law No. 14,297/2022, given its unprecedented rules, is truly relevant for the sector.