Representation of independent platform workers
A symbol of the digitization of the economy, platform workers increasingly benefit from rights inspired by labor law. The ordinance of April 21, 2021 set the framework for their representation to promote social dialogue.
Platform workers made their appearance in the labor code in 2016. They have been defined and, above all, a social responsibility of platforms towards them has been introduced. In concrete terms, since this law, platform workers have benefited from the assumption of all or part of the contribution to coverage against the risk of work-related accidents, the right of access to professional training and the recognition of the right to strike.
In 2019, the law on the orientation of mobility provides for the possibility for platforms to establish a charter to determine the terms and conditions for exercising this social responsibility. As this charter is to be approved by the administration after consultation with the workers concerned, this same law authorized the government to set the terms and conditions for the representation of these workers.
It is for this purpose that the ordinance of April 21, 2021 has been established.
The modalities of election of the platform representatives
At this stage, only the workers of VTC platforms and delivery drivers will be able to elect representatives. It was indeed considered that these sectors were sufficiently "mature" to appoint representatives.
A national election will be held by a new Employment Platforms Labor Relations Authority ("EPRA") every four years in these two sectors of activity.
It will be a ballot on acronyms: voters will vote for an organization, which will then appoint representatives.
This election will be open to all organizations (central trade unions and platform workers' collectives) subject to respect for republican values, their independence, their financial transparency, a minimum of one year's seniority, their audience, their influence and their number of members and subscriptions, and to all platform workers with three months' seniority.
The election will take place by electronic vote, each worker having one vote even if he/she works on several platforms.
The platforms will be informed of the appointment of the workers' representatives by the organizations.
The rights of the platform workers' representatives
The representatives will benefit from training in social dialogue and specific protection. Indeed, the breach of the commercial contract with a workers' representative will be subject to authorization by the Arpe and the decrease in turnover of at least 20% will have to be explained by the platform in case of legal challenge initiated by the worker.
However, these workers remain independent. This independence is recalled on several occasions by the ordinance.
It is nevertheless a pity that these provisions have been inserted in the Labor Code and that they are based on labor law mechanisms.