France: court fines Deliveroo for undocumented ‘concealed’ employment

Through . Published on 19 April 2022 à 16h48 - Update on 19 April 2022 à 16h52

On 19 April the Tribunal judiciaire de Paris found meal delivery company Deliveroo guilty of ‘concealed’, unreported employment. In accordance with the prosecution’s request, the company was sentenced to the maximum penalty fine of €375,000, and will have to pay each of the trade unions plaintiffs €50,000 in damages as well as display the court judgment on its website and applications for one month. The two former general managers were also fined €30,000, given a 12-month suspended prison sentence, and banned from running a company for five years. Although two rulings by the Court of Cassation had already reclassified platform-based work contracts as employment contracts, this is the first criminal trial to affect the gig economy in France. This is recognition for all Deliveroo delivery workers who should have employee status,” said Julie Ferrua, national secretary of the Solidaires trade union federation, who attended the hearing. The national secretary continued, “We must not forget that some have died because of deplorable working conditions. What we hope now is that all the contracts are reclassified as salaried contracts, which offer more protection, fewer risks,and working conditions that avoid a 69-hour working week with a miserable salary.” When contacted, Deliveroo said it ‘categorically contests’ the decision of the criminal court and was considering ‘plans to appeal.’ The company said the ruling “relates to and earlier Deliveroo operating model and has no consequences for the way we operate today in relation to our delivery partners,” a spokesperson said. For the time being, France does not seem to be planning to call into question the self-employment model for platform workers (c.f. article No. 13004).

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