Caution with respect to digital platforms

In the era of society's digitalization and uberization, you are solicited by an increasing number of digital platforms offering services allowing to contact various independent workers: self-entrepreneurs, freelance workers, etc.

The tool is appealing, the platform highlights its ability to select the best profiles and simplify your administrative operations for optimum linkage.

Careful however not to be too hasty.

The regulation resulting from the Labor Law of August 8, 2016 in this field may have been understood by some as giving carte blanche to the platforms.

However, the purpose of the Labor Law is not to legitimize using these platforms but to impose on some of them (those which fix the price for the service rendered) social responsibility obligations with respect to their independent workers, such as the obligation to take out insurance for them against the risks of work-related accidents and occupational illnesses.

Whether the platform falls or not within the scope of the Labor Law, using its services can expose you to significant legal risks.

Although contact platforms seem to offer similar services at first sight, they refer to very diverse legal frameworks.

Vigilance is required before using their services.

Do not assume that the platforms will act as a screen for your company's' liability. Platforms rarely accept the slightest liability.

Most often, the risks are the same of those incurred when concluding a service agreement directly with a freelance worker (recharacterization of the relationship with the self-entrepreneur as an employment contract, undeclared work, Urssaf reassessment, etc.).

Sometimes, the legal framework offered by the platform or the terminology used show that the linkage with an independent worker is nothing more than the supply of manpower required to work on the same positions as your company's employees. Your company then runs greater risks than if the service was provided without this intermediation.

Consequently, before starting any relation, you must understand the actual role of the platform, the liabilities and risks incurred in light of their contracts and terms and conditions without forgetting to visit their site.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.