French justice sentences two Deliveroo managers to one year in prison for the abuse of false self-employed
First criminal conviction for labor fraud in the platform economy in France. The British food delivery multinational Deliveroo has been sentenced this Tuesday, April 19, by the Paris criminal court to pay the maximum fine of 375,000 euros for its abuse of false self-employed workers, as requested by the Prosecutor's Office, they report various french media. The court has also sentenced three former directors of the multinational in France to prison terms, from one year to four months (which are not executed except for recidivism), and financial fines.
Specifically, the convicted managers are two former CEOs of Deliveroo in France, who are sentenced to twelve years in prison and a fine of 30,000 euros. A third executive was found guilty of “complicity” in the fraud of false self-employed workers, a crime that has carried a sentence of four months in prison and a fine of 10,000 euros. The executives will not have to go to prison, unless they reoffend and accumulate other sentences.
In addition to the fine of 375,000 euros, Deliveroo has been ordered to pay another 50,000 euros for moral damages to five unions (CGT, Union Solidaires, Sud commerces et services, Sud commerces et services Ile-de-France and Syndicat des transports légers).
A labor fraud to reduce costs
In its ruling, the court stressed that the British multinational wove "a fictitious legal camouflage", collects the EFE agency. The court stated that there was “a permanent hierarchical relationship” between the company and the employees, who were pressured to make faster deliveries and who were subject to surveillance.
The Paris court fully followed the demands of the Prosecutor's Office, highlights the newspaper Le Monde, in the first case in which the French justice judges by criminal means the labor abuses of what they call in the Gallic country as "l'ubérisation" and that in Spain is usually called "platform economy", gig economy in English.
The French ruling recognizes the existence of labor fraud by simulating Deliveroo the autonomous work of its delivery people (or riders), when in reality they should have been hired as employees because there is an employment relationship between the parties. The Supreme Court in Spain also ruled in this regardin a sentence of social justice, not criminal as in this case. Deliveroo left Spain last Novembera market in which it had lost positions compared to other competitors and where it was forced to hire couriers after the approval of the so-called Rider Law.
The European Commission has proposed employing thousands of workers on digital platforms in the EUmany of them riders but also from other business models that are now false self-employed.
Deliveroo has pointed out in a statement that it "categorically challenges" the content of the French court's ruling and that it is studying whether to appeal the court decision, Reuters collects. In addition, the multinational has added that it will maintain its operations in the French market and highlighted that the sentence affects the operation of Deliveroo in the past, not the current one. This argument was continued by the company in Spain after each conviction for the use of false self-employed. The company, before leaving the country, recognized the labor status of the workers to apply a collective dismissal of the personnel.
As the French Prosecutor's Office pointed out, the justice considers that the objective of the "fraud" was to employ the delivery men "at the lowest cost". The prosecutor Céline Ducournau recalled at the trial last March that the justice system was assessing Deliveroo's labor abuse of the false self-employed and that it did not matter if some of the couriers were "satisfied" with this condition or "felt free". , as the multinational argued in its defense.