BEIJING, March 5 (UPI) — France’s Supreme Court has recognized the power of an Uber driver to be considered an employee of the company, a ruling that could disrupt the U.S. business model and require the company to pay more in taxes and provide more benefits to its drivers, according tomedia reports. For example, paid leave.
The decision is also likely to have an impact on the “part-time economy” in France as a whole, with many taxi and meal delivery services, such as Deliveroo, Jest Eat-Takeaway and UberEats, relying heavily on freelance riders to conduct their business. And you don’t have to pay high labor costs and employee benefits.
France’s Supreme Court upheld the pre-appeal court’s decision, saying Uber drivers could not be considered freelance contractors because they could not build their own customer base or set their own service prices, so they should be considered subordinate to the company.
“The driver and the company have established a affiliation when they are connected to Uber’s digital platform,” the court said in a statement. Therefore, the driver is not providing services as a freelancer, but as an employee. “
The decision could lead other Uber drivers to demand that the company treat itself as a full-time employee, and that under the current framework, Uber does not pay too much tax to France and does little to help the country’s welfare system.
“It’s going to be a completely different business model for Uber,” said C?dric Jacquette, a partner at the paris-based law firm Proskauer. The company will need higher legal and human resources, so the price of its services will be higher. He said Uber could re-examine the conditions for becoming a driver on the platform to avoid drivers claiming to be full-time employees of the company in the future.
Uber and other similar companies face a series of legal challenges in Brazil, Colombia and the United States ahead of the ruling by France’s High Court.
The state of California, where Uber is headquartered, recently passed a law that makes it difficult for companies to classify their employees as independent contractors, not employees.
“This ruling does not reflect why drivers choose Uber: independent and free work, and they can choose whether or not to work, when and where to work,” Uber said in a statement. Over the past two years, we’ve made a number of changes to give drivers more control over how they choose how to use Uber. The company noted that the court’s decision would not lead to an automatic reclassification of drivers.