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France – Paris labour tribunal court rules in favour of Uber over its drivers’ employment status

09 February 2018

A French labour tribunal yesterday ruled in favour of Uber over the employment status of one of its drivers.

“Uber’s business is intermediation rather than transportation, as the service contract clearly stipulates,” the tribunal said.

The ruling however, conflicts with an EU court ruling in December 2017 which ruled that Uber is a transport company and the service provided by Uber is more than an intermediation service. The court ruling also contrasts with London’s court decision in 2016 which ruled that Uber drivers in the UK should be classified as workers and not self-employed.

The driver, Florian Menard, argued that he was not self-employed and that his service contract with the company was in fact an employment contract. Menard demanded that the French court award him holiday and severance pay for his two-year Uber stint. However, the court agreed with Uber that Menard was a self-employed driver who was put in touch with clients through its app and stated that Menard had been free to drive the hours he chose and to refuse trips.

“The tribunal holds that the parties are bound by no employment contract and that this is in fact a commercial contract concluded between Mr. Menard and Uber,” the ruling said.

Menard has one month to appeal and his lawyer added that it is likely that he will indeed appeal.

In a statement, an Uber spokesperson said, "tens of thousands of drivers in France use the Uber app because it lets them decide, in real time, if, when and where they want to drive."

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