Deliveroo France to face court over 'undeclared labour'

Deliveroo France will be facing court action in Paris, over accusations of undeclared labour, by referring to its workers only as independent workers. — Bloomberg

Takeaway food app Deliveroo and three former directors will appear in a Paris court on charges of "undeclared labour" next year, a source close to the cases said Monday.

Deliveroo France, an ex-managing director and two other former senior staff have been summoned to the Paris criminal court from March 8-16 to answer the charges dating back to 2015-2017 of "not declaring a large number of jobs", said the source.

The British group Deliveroo has enjoyed a dazzling international ride in a short space of time but faces questions over its sustainability, highlighted by a poor stock market debut in London this year.

French prosecutors suspected Deliveroo had "recourse to thousands of workers under a claimed independent status", the source added.

Deliveroo France issued a statement saying it had operated "in a totally transparent fashion" and "in strict respect of legal dispositions".

In London, Deliveroo's initial public offering in March was the biggest stock market launch for a decade, valuing the group at £7.6bil (RM43.49bil), after the eight-year-old company enjoyed surging sales during coronavirus lockdowns.

But its share price tumbled on launch day by almost a third as investors questioned Deliveroo's treatment of its self-employed riders.

The company announced plans at the end of July to exit Spain after Madrid approved a labour law reform that recognises delivery riders as staff, meaning they must be provided with social benefits such as paid holidays and sick leave.

Deliveroo said "achieving a top-tier market position" in Spain "would require a disproportionate level of investment with highly uncertain long-term potential returns".

Its riders in the UK meanwhile recently lost a bid to join a British union as the UK Court of Appeal ruled that they are self-employed. – AFP

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