French ‘gig economy’ workers to elect union reps for the first time

Elections are being held among around 120,000 employees of 'gig economy' firms such as Uber and Deliveroo in France to allow them to choose union representatives - one of the rights that they now have after being declared as employees by French courts.

French 'gig economy' workers to elect union reps for the first time

Multi-national platforms such as Uber and Deliveroo based their business modelling on saying that all their staff were ‘self-employed’ workers, however a series of court cases in France concluded that the staff are actually employees – making them entitled to benefits such as sick pay, holiday pay and union representation.

Polls will be held on Tuesday among 84,000 delivery drivers (for platforms such as Deliveroo) and 39,000 VTC drivers (for platforms like Uber) to pick their staff representation.

Among the names on the ballot are some of France’s biggest unions such as FO, CGT and Unsa, but also smaller employee representative groups such as the national federations for freelancers and small businesses.

Once the staff have picked the groups that will represent them, negotiations between unions and employers will begin over issues such as minimum pay, working conditions, rest periods and the right to ‘disconnect’.

It is expected that the talks will begin in September. 

Any employees that are elected as official delegates for a union or other organisation with more than five percent of the ballots cast are protected by French law – they cannot be sacked or disciplined for their union activities and they must also be compensated for time spent on union activities.

Anyone who is an employee in France is covered by basic legal rights that protect things like the right to paid holiday, paid sick leave, maternity or paternity leave and medical cover. 

However around 90 percent of workers are also covered by a convention collective – which are agreements worked out over the years between unions/staff representatives and bosses to give extra rights or perks.

Sometimes these agreements cover only one company and sometimes they cover an entire sector, such as journalists or healthcare workers.

READ ALSO The perks and benefits that French employees enjoy

Conventions collectives vary according to the sector and workplace but they can include things like extra maternity or paternity leave days, tax breaks, extra allowances for travel or meals or an agreement that the employer will pay 100 percent of the employee’s mutuelle health cover (as opposed to the 50 percent mandated in law).

If you are covered by a convention collective, it will be listed on your payslip. You can then look up the agreement online and see what you might be entitled to.

READ ALSO How to understand your French payslip

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French schools, renting property and vocabulary: 6 essential articles for life in France

From how to quit your job in France to choosing the best French school for your kids and learning all the vocabulary of France's cost of living crisis - here are six essential articles for life in France.

French schools, renting property and vocabulary: 6 essential articles for life in France

In the last two years, many people across the world have either considered leaving or have left their jobs amid the “Great Resignation” (or La Grande démission, en Français). 

If you have thought about quitting your French job, or perhaps you simply want to understand the procedure for resigning in France, we’ve put together a guide that should answer all of your questions. 

EXPLAINED: What you should know if you want to quit your job in France

Next, the French government is recommending that everyone become familiar with this website, and you’ll really to know how to use it if you will be living in France during the winter of 2022-2023. 

Ecowatt is the government’s ‘energy forecasting’ website. It will provide you with daily updates and give you an idea as to whether the electrical grid is under stress due to energy shortages. The Local put together an article on how to sign up for alerts, which will help you keep track of whether your area is at risk for short, localised power cuts this winter.

‘Ecowatt’: How you should use France’s new energy forecasting website?

Amid potential energy shortages this winter and the cost of living crisis, foreigners living with France have been faced with learning a whole new set of French vocabulary words.

It can be difficult to keep up to date with the French news – even for native-French speakers. To help you follow along and stay informed, The Local has compiled a list of French terms you are likely to hear when the government or media discusses inflation, along with their English translations.

The French words you need to understand France’s cost of living crisis

Parenting in a country you did grow up in comes with unique challenges and joys. One thing anglophone parents tend to wonder about is whether or not they should send their children to international schools (where English might be more widely spoken) or opt for local French schools.

The Local spoke with some anglophone parents, and compared the advantages and disadvantages of the various options in order to help you make the best decision for your family. 

What kind of school in France is best for my kids?

Many foreigners living in France prefer renting to buying. When looking for that perfect home or apartment, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost – renting in France depends largely on where you live. Renting in a rural or suburban environment will differ greatly from renting in a big city. Nevertheless – renters across France are faced with the same question: furnished or unfurnished? 

The two options differ in terms of price, convenience, and sometimes availability. You can read The Local’s guide to renting property in France.

Renting property in France: Should I go for furnished or unfurnished?

The 2024 Olympic Games are already on the horizon, even though they might seem far away. The city of Paris and its surrounding suburbs have already begun extensive preparations to host athletes, their families, and the thousands of fans who will come to enjoy the Games.

If you live in France and you are considering attending the games, The Local has put together what you need to know in order to secure your tickets.

How to get tickets for the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics