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US News: Uber targeted in France since 2015 by a survey for concealed work

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Towards a change of status for Uber drivers? The American company, according to AFP, has been investigated since 2015 for "concealed work". The investigations are interested in the conditions of use of Uber VTC drivers. This investigation, open in 2015 but which has long been "SOMAGE", according to a source close to the file, has been reactivated in 2020 following a report to the court of the URSSAF, and has been entrusted in co-referral to This organization and gendarmes of the Central Office to fight illegal labor (OCLTI).

For years, the economic model of Uber and many of its competitors, based on workers supposed to be independent, simple contractors of platforms folding off races in exchange for commissions, queries. Many say that there is in fact a link of subordination between the Uber and its drivers or deliverymen, to whom certain working conditions are imposed. And require that they be requalified in employees, with the social charges and contributions that this entails. For its part, the American company ensures that the drivers are free to choose their schedules and are actually independent.

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Regarding the ongoing investigation, "dozens" of Uber driver hearings are envisaged "for their condition of employment and recruitment", explains the source cited by AFP. However, no search has been carried out at this stage, but requisitions of documents were sent to the Company. OCLTI investigators still expect returns and be able to study them.

French justice is not the first to take an interest in the status of independent of Uber drivers or Deliveroo meal delivery platform couriers. Several countries have already seized the problem, calling into question the status and sometimes pushing the giants of the sector to propose compromise solutions.

The platforms, not simple "agents"

no later than Monday, a British court has shown to Uber, believing that vehicle platforms operating in London are not mere "agents" for drivers, but have a Direct contractual relationship with customers. This judgment, which concerns all taxis operators operating in the British capital, followed a resounding decision of the British Supreme Court in February, which had forced Uber to give the hybrid status of salaried workers to its drivers in the United Kingdom.

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The Supreme Court "suggested, without definitively deciding, that vehicle platforms with driver had a direct relationship with passengers, under applicable legislation in the British capital.

In February, Italian justice made a similar decision . The Milan's prosecution had then considered that the deliverymen were not autoentrepreneurs but they provided "a coordinated and continuous type service", and therefore had to receive fixed remuneration, and not be paid according to their performance. More than 60,000 deliverers were concerned.

Last week, Italian justice finally canceled the astronomical fine of 730 million euros, which she sentenced four companies, including Uber Eats Italy, believing that the working conditions of 20,000 deliverymen had been improved. Platforms must now allow them to benefit from medical visits, make them available to safety equipment, personal protective devices or safety training. The nature of the category, autoentrepreneur contract, however, has not been mentioned in the Milan Prosecutor's Office, but it is the subject of several appeals launched by Italian unions.

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