(Reuters) – Two former Deliveroo executives received a suspended one-year prison sentence and a fine of 30,000 euros ($ 32,380) from a French court on Tuesday for abusing the freelance status of riders working for the British takeaway platform.
The company was also fined with the maximum penalty of 375,000 euros and will have to publish the court decision on its French website for one month.
The ruling could resonate outside France as the gaming economy, largely based on digital apps and self-employment, faces a number of court challenges that could redefine working conditions.
The administrative investigation, which examined a period ranging from 2015 to 2017, and subsequent court proceedings showed that Deliveroo had introduced almost permanent monitoring and control of drivers̵7; work while connected, Judge Sylvie Daunis said.
This included assigning drivers long time slots to make sure Deliveroo had as many people on hand as possible over the weekend and telling drivers who refused to allow them to work on the platform in the following weeks.
Although the riders were freelancers, the court also found that Deliveroo unilaterally changed the criteria by which salary increases were defined or the minimum time required to be online to qualify as a rider.