Kevin Mention is an employment law lawyer. For several years he has defended bicycle couriers who work for meal delivery platforms.
franceinfo: do platform workers have fewer rights than employees and self-employed workers? And for example, if they get sick, which is a particularly important question at the moment, what are they entitled to?
Kevin Mention : They have much less rights than employees, sometimes even no rights at all. In the event of illness, the self-employed workers’ scheme can take care of them but you have no compensation, or very symbolic, with a very long waiting period, and this can possibly be supplemented by a device supported by the platform .
But still several problems arise since this device is generally limited to people who have a minimum of planned connection time – if you go on vacation for example, you are no longer entitled to anything – and then it is a supplement to what is supported directly by the State, and this supplement is very low. For example, we have support of 750 euros for 15 days of absence in the midst of the coronavirus period.
And if they have an accident, what are their rights?
They are very low, since accidents at work and occupational diseases for self-employed platform workers do not exist. Employees are 100% supported, they have the advantage of third-party payment. The self-employed are 100% their responsibility. If they themselves have provided for a mutual, they can have indemnities, but given what they are given in remuneration, they cannot themselves take charge of guarantee schemes.
What if their activity is restricted or prohibited by confinement?
They have nothing left at all. There are mechanisms that are put in place, with aid of up to 1,500 euros per month for decreases or stoppages of activity, but they do not apply systematically, and the platform does not have for her part, nothing to give them since she declares them to be independent.
What if they lose their jobs, if the platform decides not to employ them anymore?
They have nothing. You are an employee, you have the right to unemployment if you are not at the origin of the contract, but as a self-employed person, the platform can terminate your contract overnight, they generally do so without it. less notice.
Lately, Deliveroo has broken many contracts by saying that the couriers are not going fast enough when we know they are in very difficult traffic conditions with a lot of risk. Deliveroo is not able to respond at the expected speed, but couriers lost everything overnight. And behind no unemployment, no immediate possibility of returning to another platform because there are registration procedures.
It can even be difficult for them to obtain the RSA because when you have the status of self-employed, you take into account the income of several months and the turnover that you declare, and you do not have a right automatic.
Are some platforms more generous than others?
Their generosity does not go very far. In fact, we see that the guarantees put in place by the platforms are always a minimum. I have in mind the example of a courier who had punctured his stomach; the insurance covered the hands, feet, head, but not the stomach …