Judiciaire de Paris on April 19 fined Deliveroo EUR 375,000.00 for
hiring its couriers as self-employed instead of salaried employees. Deliveroo
is considering filing an appeal.
Determination of the employment status
years, the question of the employment status of platform workers has been at
the centre of legal disputes in EU Member States. In this context, the
platforms are suspected of basing their economic model on bogus self-employment
in order to achieve cost advantages, for example by eliminating social security
contributions, vacation and sick pay, and contributions to accident insurance.
This is often countered by the fact that platform workers voluntarily seek the
opportunities of self-employment for more flexible employment arrangements,
thus enjoying greater freedom in their entrepreneurial activities.
relationships at Deliveroo for the period from April 2015 to December 2017 have
now been negotiated in Paris. According to the court, Deliveroo deliberately
exploited and abused the labour regulations in order to systematically
circumvent the employment relationship of its couriers.
court slapped the maximum fine of EUR 375,000.00 on the platform. In addition,
the two former top managers of the platform were given a twelve-month suspended
prison sentence. Furthermore, both were fined EUR 30,000.00 and banned from
running any business for five years.
Divergent case law – an issue that concerns whole of Europe
as the judge's decision in France may have been, the case law in Europe is very
different. For example, in a similar case on 8 December 2021, the Labour Court
in Brussels ruled that Deliveroo couriers should not be considered employees
to contradictory decisions on the employment status of platform workers, the
European Commission presented a proposal for a directive on platform employment
on 9 December 2021, which lays down regulations for determining the employment status.
One of the aims of the proposed directive is to strengthen the rights of
platform workers. The German Social Insurance has already commented on this in
the consultation procedure (the link can be found here).