Nearly half of French people used meal delivery last year. In France, 415,000 people work for the plethora of digital platforms offering this type of service, according to the 2021 platform awards by MP Mounir Mahjoubi. But the sector, in full development, is often criticized for its poor working conditions.
To change practices, Fairwork, a research project led by the British University of Oxford, has decided to establish a ranking of the companies most respectful of bicycle delivery people in 25 countries. In France, the Audencia business school was responsible for the awards. Its findings were released on Friday.
Just Eat better than others
And his observation is clear: among the six platforms studied (Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Just Eat, Stuart, Coursiers Nantais and Naofood), none is beyond reproach. Far from there. The Fairwork France 2022 report describes the “situation of legal uncertainty” in which couriers find themselves, who “work under permanent pressure”.
However, not all platforms are created equal. Fairwork France ranked those studied according to their score out of 10, aggregated from five criteria (remuneration, working conditions, contracts, management and representativeness of delivery people). If none obtains the maximum score, a guarantee of fair work, Just Eat obtains the score of 8/10 and is ahead of the Coursiers Nantais (7/10), followed by Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Stuart and Naofood (4/10 each) .
Just Eat is well positioned at the top of the ranking thanks in particular to the salary of its deliverers, which it was “the first to offer in France in 2020, in a sector dominated by self-employment”, notes Audencia. This allows its employees to benefit from the minimum wage and to be protected in the event of accident or illness.
Significant room for improvement
“Nevertheless, Just Eat could see its rating drop significantly in the future if the company backpedals to implement its recent decision to only retain the salaried status of its workers in the seven largest cities in France”, warn the authors. of the study. Last April, the Anglo-Dutch platform announced that it wanted to keep delivery people on permanent contracts only in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Lille and Roubaix.
The Coursiers Nantais aren’t doing too badly either thanks to their “cooperative status” which offers a “social safety net” to delivery people, whose equipment is taken care of.
For Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Stuart, the biggest players in delivery in France, the situation is more severe: “It was not possible to prove that the deliverers received fair remuneration” and their status “does not allow them coverage or salary maintenance in the event of accident or illness”, notes Audencia.
However, the study gives a good point to these three companies on their management and their anti-discrimination policy, highlighting the fight against the outsourcing of the accounts of Uber Eats deliverers, or the support of deliverers in the creation of company at Deliveroo.
Ways to improve the status of couriers
In its report, Fairwork France calls for an evolution of the legal status of bicycle couriers. “A simple solution would be to create a legal presumption of employment for workers in bicycle delivery platforms, as it exists for example in Spain”, suggest the authors.
An alternative to also be, according to them, to use a third party (wage portage company, activity and employment cooperative) to pay the delivery people. This would allow them to access “the protections of labor law and social security while maintaining a certain flexibility in the organization of their work”.