In France, Uber driver recognized as employee

Jean-Baptiste Soufron
Jan 11 · 1 min read

After Take It Easy, it’s the second time in a few weeks that the French Courts recognize that the so-called “freelances” of the gig economy are indeed employees and that they should benefit from the protection of the French Code du Travail.

This time, it’s the Paris Court of Appeal that recognized that a Uber driver could benefit from employment rights.

The important element is what’s called “the subordination relationship”. It means that Uber or Take Eat Easy were able to direct, control, and sanction the workers.

In that way, the workers were not able to develop their own clientele. They could only work through the platform and were dependent on it.

They were not “free”, as should logically be required for “freelances”.

The classification of freelances as workers, and the inherent benefit from employment rights, is a global trend with ups and downs.

Given the violence of the gig economy for its workers, I am not sure it’s really a problem though.

Instead of spending countless time trying to imagine solutions to protect these freelancers, it looks like we could simply allow them to benefit from the social framework that already exists.

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Jean-Baptiste Soufron

Written by

A Lawyer in Paris, and a former General Secretary of the French National Digital Council, I work in tech, media, public policy. These opinions are my own.

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