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the platform sentenced for concealed work

It was the first criminal trial of “uberization” in France. The Paris Criminal Court sentenced the meal delivery platform on Tuesday, April 19 to a fine of €375,000. In this procedure, which concerned facts that occurred between 2015 and 2017, two former French managers of the company received a one-year suspended prison sentence.

“Instrumentalization and diversion of labor regulation”

The criminal court considered that the workers of the platform, employed as self-employed, should have been salaried. Hiring under this self-employed status allows Deliveroo to reduce operating costs, since the company does not need to pay social security contributions or paid holidays.

→ READ. First criminal verdict for Deliveroo

In March, after a week of trial, the prosecution had requested the maximum penalty of a fine of €375,000 against Deliveroo France, as well as a one-year suspended prison sentence against two ex-executives. He had also requested a four-month suspended prison sentence and a €10,000 fine against a third executive.

Deliveroo is responsible for“an instrumentalization and misappropriation of labor regulation”with the aim of organizing a “systemic concealment” jobs for delivery people who should have been salaried and not self-employed, had hammered Céline Ducournau, public prosecutor.

A hundred workers as civil parties to the trial

The ” fraud “ set up had the sole purpose of employing “low cost” its delivery men, and no matter if some are “satisfied” of this status or “feel free”, she pointed out. A reference to one of Deliveroo’s arguments to justify the status of autoentrepreneur.

A dozen delivery men on bicycles or scooters, engaged against the ” system “, had succeeded at the helm to recount their arrival at Deliveroo. Initially attracted by the promises of ” freedom “ and of “flexibility”, they discovered the ” war “ to get the best “niches” schedule. But also the ” pressure “the ” surveillance “ and reprimands from the platform. In total, more than a hundred delivery men had become civil parties to the trial.

Highly contested, the independent status of Deliveroo couriers is challenged in other countries by the courts. It is also being undermined in some countries by the adoption of new legislation which has prompted some giants in the sector to propose compromises.