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France: publication of decree on social responsibility of ride-hailing platforms
Planet Labor, 23 October 2020, n°12196 - www.planetlabor.com

A law passed in 2019 introduced into the labour code a provision allowing ride-hailing platforms to draw up a social responsibility charter governing a number of aspects of the relationship between drivers and the platform (see article n°11497). This charter would have to be approved by the labour administration. Conditions for this approval were published today on 23 October in a decree. The application for approval must also detail the process of consultation with workers. This certified charter was originally intended to preserve the flexibility afforded by drivers’ self-employed status, by protecting the platforms against the risk of workers being reclassified as employees. It did this by establishing a range of rights similar to those enjoyed by employees (for example, decent prices, skills development, social dialogue). This provision was deemed contrary to the constitution in the name of judges’ freedom to classify employment relationship, even if this no longer provides legal security for the platforms. For France’s labour ministry, these optional charters and the certification process remain a “first step” in the bid to “regulate and rebalance the labour relations between workers and the platforms”, a first step that will, for the time being, heavily rely on the platforms’ sense of social responsibility.