An illegal practice is developing more and more in the field of home delivery: the subletting of auto-entrepreneur accounts to precarious or irregular workers. A situation denounced by Valérie Labattue, member of the National Union of Labor, Employment and Vocational Training.

Delivery men from the company Deliveroo demonstrate on October 12, 2018 in Paris.  (LEON TANGUY / MAXPPP)

“A new course in the exploitation of man by man.” Guest of franceinfo on Monday, October 29, Valérie Labattue, member of the National Union of Labor, Employment and Vocational Training, returned to the subletting of auto-entrepreneur accounts to precarious workers. An illegal practice that tends to spread in the home delivery sector.

franceinfo: Is the subcontracting of workers in an irregular situation by self-employed people, particularly in home delivery, giving rise to a new kind of sub-category of employee?

Valérie Labattue: We see the blooming of false self-employed workers everywhere who are independent in name only and who are totally dependent on contractors, precarious in their rights and in their statutes. With the subcontracting by account holders of undocumented workers, invisible, weakened in the exercise of their rights, and easily exploitable, we have crossed a new course in the exploitation of man by man. Precarious workers subcontract even more precarious workers.

The heart of the problem would therefore be this status of auto-entrepreneur?

Exactly. With the uberization of the economy, the inflation of so-called collaborative platforms, we have not returned the productive tool to workers, quite the contrary. What is at issue, the underlying problem, is that of false statutes, the proliferation of which has been allowed by the discourse of successive governments which have valued self-entrepreneurship, and what we are witnessing in the background , it is to a disintegration of the wage earners and of the protective status which is attached to it, in particular as regards social protection, and particularly in the event of work accident.

So, if, in this situation, instead of working with auto-entrepreneurs, the platforms hired employees, could we avoid this drift?

If there was a real working relationship, there would be social protection. Because by hiring auto-entrepreneurs who themselves subcontract to more precarious than them outside of any legal being, the contractors dispense with participating in the financing of social protection, and above all externalize the risk. In the event of an industrial accident, unless the contractual relationship between the client and its executor is requalified by a judge, the client is exempt from any de facto liability.