DOI: 10.1177/10242589231190566 ISSN: 1024-2589

Promoting employed worker status on digital platforms: how France’s labour inspection and social security agencies address ‘uberisation’

Sarah Abdelnour, Émilien Julliard, Dominique Méda
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Industrial relations

In France, the growth of digital labour platforms has benefited from the support that has been provided by one section of the governing political class for the sake of the ‘employment opportunities’ that they are expected to generate. However, their operating model, which relies on outsourced labour carried out by supposedly self-employed workers, has been the subject of inspection operations and objections initiated by the social security agencies and institutions that ensure compliance with labour law. Based on interviews with these stakeholders – labour and social security inspectors – this article illustrates how they are seeking to reintegrate these workers into the employed workforce, not only for the purpose of maintaining their safety at work but also with a view to preserving the French social model. These inspectors rely on their traditional control tools but also on the framing of anti-fraud policies. Ultimately, their actions seek to inform legal disputes with a view to reclassifying the workers concerned.

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