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France top court recognizes right of Uber drivers to be considered employees

The Court of Cassation, France’s top court ruled Wednesday that Uber drivers are employees of the company, requiring Uber to review their business model.

Upholding the Court of Appeal decision, the court decided that drivers could not be classified as self-employed. Factors indicating that an Uber driver was a employee of the company included the inability to set their own prices or cultivate their own clientele.

Uber has previously stated that the company is made up of self-employed taxi drivers, excluding them from paying social charges.

However, the ruling will now require Uber to pay more taxes to support France’s welfare system, as well as “holiday pay” required by law to employees in a contractual relationship with the company.

Drivers now working as employees of Uber will have to enter into an contractual relationship, as determined by the Court of Appeal. Yet, the ruling does not force Uber to automatically sign an employment contract, and drivers will need to obtain re-qualification as employees in court.