There are 28 to 30 million in the European Union, around 230,000 in France. Meal deliverers, VTC drivers, healthcare home professionals, DIY experts contacted via applications, without forgetting content moderators… Most often independent, all will be able to claim new social rights. And above all to be reclassified as employees if they believe they are false self-employed.

Labor ministers decided this Monday in Brussels, approving a very first directive on digital platform workers. Presented at the end of 2021, it could concern 5.5 million people today in the EU, with self-employed status but ultimately finding themselves subordinate to a platform without any right in return, between sick leave or paid leave.

Also read: Uber, Deliveroo… Paris and Berlin block European law on platform workers

This was not without difficulty, between the intense lobbying of Uber, Deliveroo and Bolt, but also the undermining work of the major Member States, first and foremost France, which did everything to counter this agreement or modify its terms. outlines. In the end, only Paris and Berlin refused to support him. The blockage in Berlin comes from Christian Lindner, the Minister of Finance, and his party (FDP – liberals), opposed to any supervision of this new digital economy. This agreement, to which Greece joined at the last minute as well as Estonia, home to the powerful Bolt, will force Member States to create a new legal presumption known as “employment” for these platform workers. Activated by the courier or his representatives who may challenge the status in court or applied spontaneously by national labor inspectorates, this legal presumption will launch a procedure for verifying employment status and could ultimately lead to reclassification as employees.

However, there is no question of creating a new European employee status. Member States, depending on their labor law, will have to establish this presumption and define “facts” demonstrating that the platform exercises control and subordination. In these facts, it is for example not being able to work at the desired hours, not being able to have several clients or being obliged to appear in this or that outfit… The platforms will of course be able to contest by proving that these workers are authentically independent. The agreement also introduces a very first European regulation of artificial intelligence in the world of work, in particular by banning certain decisions managed by algorithms.

Paris, which has always promoted its model, namely collective agreements for self-employed people linked to a set of social rights (training, health insurance, etc.), believes that the text is not good. If Greece, worried about its tourism economy, and Estonia, have rightly judged it sufficiently weakened to be able to support it, the French government continues to fear automatic and massive reclassifications. And hope that these procedures do not apply blindly to all independents. Paris also highlighted the legal risk that twenty-seven different national presumptions would contain. And believes that its third national route alone allows to remedy these doubts about the status.

Arguments which were not well received in Brussels, with Paris’ partners, starting with Madrid, seeing it as bad faith. The Spanish minister, Yolanda Diaz, also attacked again on Monday Paris’s desire to grant itself “a French exemption”.

In the European Parliament, and especially on the left, we have a completely different explanation: very close to Uber, which he supported at the Ministry of the Economy, Emmanuel Macron simply never wanted this directive. “Throughout the negotiations, the French president tried to torpedo the presumption of employment. To serve Uber rather than workers. The macronie, who proclaimed himself the champion of “the Europe that protects”, demonstrated here that in reality it only protected the interests of lobbies,” summarized the elected Insoumise Leïla Chaibi.