Uber wins French court battle over employment status

Labour tribunal says ride-hailing app ‘in the business of intermediation and not that of a transportation service’

The driver-status decision from the French industrial tribunal highlights the complexity of defining and regulating the service even after Europe’s top court said in December it should be treated as a traditional taxi company instead of a technology group

The driver-status decision from the French industrial tribunal highlights the complexity of defining and regulating the service even after Europe’s top court said in December it should be treated as a traditional taxi company instead of a technology group

 

Uber has won a legal battle in France over the employment status of one of its drivers after a labour tribunal said the ride hailing app was “in the business of intermediation and not that of a transportation service” and therefore did not act as an employer.

The decision from the industrial tribunal highlights the complexity of defining and regulating the service even after Europe’s top court said in December it should be treated as a traditional taxi company instead of a technology group.

On Thursday the French tribunal ruled in favour of Uber against a driver, Florian Menard, who argued he was not self-employed and that his service contract with the company should be reclassified as an employment contract. He argued for compensation in lieu of paid holidays and “concealed work”.

‘No employment contract’

The tribunal said Mr Menard had been free to drive the hours he chose and to refuse trips. “The tribunal holds that the parties are bound by no employment contract and that this is in fact a commercial contract concluded between Mr Menard and Uber,” the ruling said. Mr Menard has one month to appeal.

Uber has faced widespread protests in France over working conditions and low pay. Protests have also swept the UK where Uber lost a key legal appeal in November after a London tribunal upheld a ruling that it must treat drivers as “workers” entitled to the minimum wage and holiday pay.

– Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018