In France, people are either salaried workers or self-employed, with a few marginal schemes. The employee has extensive rights against the employer, the self-employed person is supposed to take care of himself very well, of his social security coverage, without the help of an employer.
As far as platform workers are concerned, the judge sometimes requalifies the relationship between the platform and the worker who had yet registered on the platform as self-employed as an employment contract.
To recognize the employment contract, the judge verifies the existence of a relationship of subordination between the platform and the worker.
Thus Uber, but not Star Taxi, could be considered an employer,
Take it easy, Deliveroo, but not Toktoktok, Staffmatch or Airbn'b.
This link most often exists, but litigation remains low and requalification is not systematic.
The “independent” model persists, it is said, because it would allow the employment of personnel otherwise difficult to employ elsewhere, and that it would in any case not be economically viable if the charges weighing on an employer were applicable to it.
It also happens that the worker subcontracts his mission, in an undeclared way, to a person in an irregular situation, without papers.
The El Khomri law of 2016 nevertheless imposes certain obligations on the platforms (union freedom, payment of occupational accident contributions, training), moving in the direction of a sort of intermediate regime, but without imposing a requalification into a contract of work, nor allow platforms to be exempted from their obligations as employers when the judge recognizes the existence of a relationship of subordination in the employment relationship (Constitutional Council, decision no. 2019-794 DC of December 20, 2019, mobility orientation law).
The latest report on the subject, from the end of 2020, recommends a wage portage solution by a "third-party security" wage portage company. This company, which would be commissioned, would be added to the platform and the worker. The solution seems expensive and complicated.
Update June 17, 2021:
The Court of Cassation sees an employment contract.
Court of Cassation, Social Chamber, March 4, 2020, 19-13.316, Published in the bulletin