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Deliveroo condemned: "Labor law must evolve to support platform workers"

2021-09-22T12:43:38.217Z

FIGAROVOX / TRIBUNE - The meal delivery platform Deliveroo was recently returned to corrections for undeclared labor. If these jobs must be preserved, the essayist Olivier Babeau suggests thinking about new regulations to get these workers out of precariousness.



Olivier Babeau is president of the Sapiens Institute and professor at the University of Bordeaux.

In 2020, he published

The New Digital Disorder

(ed. Buchet-chastel).

We see them spinning through the streets like arrows in all weathers.

By bike, scooter or even car, these new platform workers have established themselves in recent years as one of the most visible but also the most problematic figures of the new economy.

They are emblematic of the contradictions of the latter and the challenges it must meet.

For the moment, the theoretical independence system deprives the worker of the protections enjoyed by the employee and of maintaining precariousness.

Olivier Babeau

For many young people with little qualifications, these "odd jobs" with low qualifications which are multiplying are a godsend. But their status poses a problem in a system based on the distinction between two types of work: self-employment, which is that of the craftsman or liberal professions on the one hand, and salaried work on the other. Between traditional wage employment and traditional independence, these new workers encounter working conditions which have neither the advantages of the protections of the first, nor the freedom of the second. Rather, they would combine the disadvantages of the two systems, depending almost exclusively on a “client” who imposes his price, hours and conditions. Everywhere in developed countries, court decisions are multiplying which point to the absence ofreal independence of these delivery drivers working exclusively for a platform. They pose more problems than they solve, the violence of the accusations and the gravity of the sentences incurred (prison sentences being in theory incurred by the leaders of

Deliveroo

for "hidden work"!) Testifying above all to the unsuitability of a social law built for the world of yesterday.

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Returning these workers to the traditional wage system would be to eliminate the vast majority of these jobs, the economic model of which would simply not withstand the constraints and the heaviness of the wage system.

Demand is too sensitive to price, margins too low to imagine that a network of simply salaried delivery drivers can be in equilibrium.

Normalizing these situations, in the current state of the norm, means eliminating almost all of this economic activity and these jobs.

On the other hand, the theoretical independence system deprives the worker for the moment of the protections enjoyed by the employee and of maintaining precariousness.

Like other arduous jobs, it is important to support workers in their professional development, and therefore their training, so that they can quickly do something else.

Olivier Babeau

What are the solutions ? First, a modernization of labor law in order to create a hybrid status of platform worker. Without losing the flexibility that constitutes these professions, he must be able to benefit from quality social protection (paid leave, retirement, health cover, etc.). Parliamentary discussions are underway and the start of the organization of social dialogue should see the light of day in 2022. It is necessary to supervise, protect, without weighing down or preventing.

Then, these professions pose par excellence the question of professional development and therefore training.

They correspond to relatively young workers sometimes using these jobs to finance their studies.

They hardly correspond to a career.

Like other arduous jobs, it is important to support workers in their professional development, and therefore their training, so that they can quickly do something else.

We will not disconnect the internet.

Digital will not disappear from our lives.

And that's good because it is a real vector of progress.

Returning to the economy of the twentieth century is neither possible nor desirable.

On the other hand, it is urgent to imagine new regulations for a technological world of which we must keep the best.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-09-22

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