French court rules Uber driver is under employment contract

11 Jan 2019

The French Appeal Court ruled a former driver of Uber was effectively an employee of the ride-hailing company. The driver sued Uber after having his account deactivated, depriving him of new reservations. The court decided that his contract should respect French labour regulations. The Parisian appeal court alleged that the registration partnership Uber agreed with the driver gave the company control over the terms of his work. The driver could not choose his clients or decide on his own rates. Uber has argued that it is a service provider and all its drivers are self-employed. The argument that Uber is only a service provider had already been weakened by the CJEU’s ruling, in 2017, which recognised the company as both an online service provider and a transportation company. Uber affirmed it will appeal the decision to the last instance possible in France, the court of cassation, and that the decision could jeopardise Uber’s operations in France.

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It is frequently mentioned that the Internet is changing the way in which we work. ICTs have blurred the traditional routine of work, free time, and sleep (8+8+8 hours), especially in multinational corporation working environment. It is increasingly difficult to distinguish where work starts and where it ends. These changes in working patterns may require new labour legislation, addressing such issues as working hours, the protection of labour interests, and remuneration.


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