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Deliveroo Found Guilty In France Of Violating Riders' Rights

Deliveroo Found Guilty In France Of Violating Riders' Rights
On Tuesday, a French court sentenced two former Deliveroo top executives to a suspended one-year prison sentence and fined them 30,000 euros for misusing the freelance character of riders employed for the British takeaway delivery platform.
The firm was also penalized a maximum of 375,000 euros and ordered to post the court ruling on Deliveroo's French home page for a month.
The decision could have ramifications outside of France, since the gig economy, which is based mostly on digital apps and self-employed employees, is facing a slew of legal challenges that could reshape working conditions.
According to the judge Sylvie Daunis, the administrative investigation, which covered the period from 2015 to 2017, as well as the subsequent court hearings, Deliveroo had imposed an almost permanent surveillance and control over riders' work while they were linked.
This included assigning riders long time intervals to ensure Deliveroo had as many people on hand as possible throughout the weekend, and warning drivers who declined to work for the company in the weeks that followed, for example.
Despite the fact that the riders were self-employed, the court decided that Deliveroo changed the criteria by which pay increases were determined or the minimum time required to qualify as a rider on its own.
"This set of elements characterizes a situation of almost permanent legal subordination," Daunis said, referring to a key element that defines the employee status in France.
Deliveroo's stocks , that have lost more than 70  percent of their value since its IPO at 390 pence in March 2021, were trading at 106.5 pence on Tuesday, down 6.5 per cent.
Deliveroo stated in a statement that it "categorically rejects" the French court's decision and is considering appealing. It also stated that it would continue to operate in the French market.
The court ruling, according to the company's statement, applied to an earlier version of its operating model and had no bearing on how it works now.
"Our model has since evolved in order to be more in line with the expectations of our delivery partners, who want to remain independent ... Deliveroo will continue to operate with a model that offers these independent providers a flexible and well-paid business," the company said.
Former riders have filed a lawsuit against Deliveroo, alleging that the firm abused their freelancing status and should have employed them as employees.
Employee status confers entitlements such as unemployment compensation, social security contributions, and pension contributions under French law.
Last year, Deliveroo pulled out of Spain after the government mandated that food delivery firms hire their own messengers. The British firm stated that it intended to focus its investment on other markets where it already had or might gain a competitive advantage.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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