The 'Labor-Friendly' Start-Up Nation: Insights On Some Of The New Measures For E-Mobility Digital Apps From The Law On Mobility Orientations

Author:Mr Philippe Danesi and Vanessa Li
Profession:DLA Piper

The liberalization of the French employment framework has been accelerating with the evolution and the digitalization of the economy and especially with the labor reforms of 2016/2017.

With the intensification of the e-mobility digital market and the rapid mutation of the services offered, the French Government has felt the necessity to create a new legal framework specifically designed for digital platforms/apps in order to regulate their activities, protect the consumers whilst introducing further flexibility in terms of operations and in particular for their workforce.

Indeed, most of the apps' workers are not employed by the apps. Instead, they are service providers, apps playing only the role as an “agent” between the app users and the workers. The business model of most referral apps is not compatible with the traditional French salaried employment legal framework consisting of having employees working under a subordinate relationship of one employee who has a power to instruct, control and sanction them.

At the same time, apps workers accepting a job as independent contractors implies that they take business risks as every entrepreneur does and that they have to renounce their protected status which French employment law has set for salaried employees, such as the right to a minimum wage, regulated working time, national healthcare and welfare insurance, severance termination indemnities, etc.

Since the Law on the Digital Republic of 7 October 2016 (“Loi pour une République numérique”) , digital apps offering referral services carry a “social responsibility” towards independent workers who are providing services . Indeed, the apps should take in charge the insurance contribution that the workers would have to subscribe to prevent the risk of work accident. They should also take in charge their professional training up to a certain limit and subject to certain conditions in terms of revenues generated by the workers on the app.

The new Law on Mobility Orientations dated the 24 December 2019 (LOM), enacted on 27 December 2019 (subject to several subsequent decrees of application that are still awaiting publication) are reinforcing the “social responsibility” obligations on digital apps operating on the new forms of mobility, i.e. transport of persons with a driver or delivery services, called “e-mobility apps”.

Article 44 of LOM has imposed on these e-mobility apps the following obligations to:

communicate to the workers the distance...

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