The Deliveroo platform and three of its former leaders will have to answer in March 2022 at the Paris Criminal Court for the “underground work”, suspected of having acted as “freelance” delivery men and were supposed to be employees. The company, accused of “hiding a large number of paid positions”, and three former Deliveroo France executives, including its former managing director, were summoned to appear in court from March 8-16, 2022 due to facts dating back to that period. 2015-2017.

Prosecutors suspect that Deliveroo and some of its former leaders have “resorted to thousands of workers under so-called independent status through commercial contracts, while being placed in a permanent legal dependency relationship with him,” the labor inspectorate noted in a December 2017 report. In May 2018, the Attorney General’s Office opened In Paris, a preliminary investigation was entrusted to the Central Office for Combating Illegal Labor (OCLTI).

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Giant leap against uberization

“Since its beginnings in France, Deliveroo France has served as a digital platform to communicate with independent delivery partners, in a completely transparent manner, while strictly adhering to legal provisions,” the company responded in an AFP press release. On the contrary, Kevin Minten, the attorney for many of the complainants in this case, welcomed on Facebook a “small step” in this type of case “but a giant leap against ‘uberization'”.

As part of this investigation, the courts as a precaution confiscated €3 million on the company’s French bank account, corresponding to a portion of the social contributions suspected of not being paid during the 2015-2016 period. A source at the Labor Inspectorate recently told AFP that, in a 2017 report, “certain elements made it possible to characterize a sanctions regime set up by Deliveroo. For example, if opinions about a delivery person” were not good, he was kicked off the platform.

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Trust prevails on the side of Deliveroo

The same source also noted that “delivery men have not set their prices, which is a key element for the self-employed.” “There were penalties, real-time performance control. They defined everything unilaterally as an employer, without equal status. It’s disguised wages,” one plaintiff’s attorney recently charged. In accordance with this advice, Deliveroo had to change its relationship with delivery people after this legal action and litigation before the Industrial Court.

However, Deliveroo confirmed Monday night that at this point, “all court decisions rendered definitively in France (it) were favourable.” And to add that it “therefore confidently approached this hearing which will allow it to establish the unfounded nature (of the alleged facts, note) and will continue to defend this model that is consistent with the aspirations of the vast majority of delivery partners.” Highly contested, the independent status of Uber drivers or Deliveroo couriers is called into question in many countries by courts or, in rare cases, under laws, sometimes leading sector giants to offer compromise.

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Other companies in sight

In Europe, delivery workers are generally considered self-employed, especially in France. In Britain, Uber announced in March that it would give its more than 70,000 drivers a hybrid status of “paid workers”, which would allow them to benefit from minimum wage, paid time off and access to a pension fund. The first scientist in American society. Deliveroo announced at the end of July its intention to leave Spain, which wants to force take-home orders to pay delivery staff. In February, the Italian justice gave 90 days to platforms Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Just Eat and Foodinho-Glovo to amend their providers’ contracts, deeming they were not entrepreneurs. In France, several other companies, such as Take Eat Easy or Foodora, are subject to a preliminary investigation in Paris, particularly in relation to “underground work”.

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