In a judgment delivered on Wednesday, the highest French court rules for the first time on the qualification of the contract binding a delivery person to a digital platform.

Bike delivery men demonstrate against the drop in prices, the impossibility of changing contracts without a collective agreement and the taking into account of the arduous nature of the work, in Paris, on October 12, 2018. (MAXPPP)

It is an unprecedented decision. In a judgment delivered on Wednesday, November 28, the Court of Cassation considers that bicycle deliverers, who exercise their activity under a self-employed status, are employees, not self-employed. The highest French court had been seized by a courier from Take eat easy, a company placed in liquidation since.

This bicycle delivery man “Had seized the labor tribunal with a request to reclassify the contractual relationship into an employment contract”, explains the Court of Cassation. “The industrial tribunal then the court of appeal declared themselves incompetent to hear this request”, she specifies. It is therefore up to the social chamber of the Court of Cassation to rule on the question.

A characterized “bond of subordination”

Thus, the social chamber of the Court of Cassation underlines in its judgment that there is “A power of direction and control of the execution of the service of the delivery person”, which characterizes “A bond of subordination” between the work of the courier and the company Take eat easy. Clearly, the highest French court considers that the “Geo-location allowing real-time monitoring” of the delivery man is a tool to check if he is carrying out his work correctly, and, if necessary, to sanction him. The Court of Cassation asks the Paris Court of Appeal to re-judge in this direction.

Meal deliverers mobilized in the summer of 2017 for their working conditions. Jérôme Pimot, spokesperson for the Collectif des delivereurs autonomes de Paris, denounced the abuse of the status of auto-entrepreneur imposed on couriers. Others had taken the case to court, but were unsuccessful.

In addition, the Paris prosecutor’s office has entrusted the Central Office for the Fight against Illegal Work (OCLTI) with a preliminary investigation into the home meal delivery platform Deliveroo France, according to a journalist from Mediapart, who said on Wednesday that the Labor inspection and Urssaf had already decided that bicycle delivery men were conventional employees.