The Paris Court of Appeals has held that the "commercial accord" executed by Uber with its drivers is an employment contract and the appellant, a former driver, was an employee of Uber.
This judgment dated January 10, stating that a "sufficient set of clues" indicated a "relationship of subordination" between the parties, overturns the decision of a French labour tribunal.
The Court of Appeals followed the decision rendered by the Supreme Court of France, Cour de Cassation, whereby it was held that a delivery rider using the services of an online food delivery platform was an employee of the platform, despite being labeled self-employed.
The Court relied on Article L. 8221-6 of the French Labor Code to hold that the employment contract of the Appellant signified the powers of direction, control and sanction exercised by Uber. It was held that the unlike a sole proprietorship, Uber drivers did not operate independently in as much as the drivers were prohibited from creating their own customer base and the Company itself allocated the rides and fix fares. The Company's plea in this regard that the drivers had the freedom to choose their working hours was held to be irrelevant.
The appellant driver, through lawyer Fabien Masson, had sought reimbursement for holidays and compensation for termination of his contract.
The ruling is also similar to a judgment of London Employment Tribunal which ruled in favour of Uber drivers in this regard.
Uber however, is set to appeal against this decision in the highest court of appeals.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals (in French) may be accessed here.
[Read Judgment In French]