Uber reaches landmark agreement on drivers' minimum wage in France

The Local France
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Uber reaches landmark agreement on drivers' minimum wage in France
An Uber logo in Paris in 2016 (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP)

In a 'first of its kind' ruling for France, ride-hailing platforms including Uber have signed an agreement to establish minimum income per ride for drivers. Here is how that could impact both drivers and customers across France.


On Wednesday, ride-share platforms (Voiture de Transport avec Chauffeur or VTCs in French) in France signed an agreement establishing a minimum income per ride, which has been hailed as a "first of its kind" for France.

Unions and ride-share workers (such as Uber drivers) have been seeking to strengthen protections in the sector for several years, which led to the decision on January 18th to institute a minimum income per trip will be set to €7.65, "regardless of the application being used." 

Ride share organisations also agreed to institute a minimum price for rides - setting it to at least €10.20 for the cheapest ride, which represents a rise of about 27 percent from previous minimum fares.

The new minimum ride fares in France will go into effect on February 1st.


The agreement follows the ruling by a French court that VTC drivers were employees, not self-employed, and the subsequent selection of a union to represent drivers.

Unions say that the minimum pay agreements are a "first step" and that the goal would be to "negotiate about other issues faced by drivers" later this year, according to Ouest France.

The precedent for more worker's protections

The status of gig-economy workers has been the focus of the European Union for several years. In 2017, the European Court of Justice ruled that Uber should be considered a transport services company, rather than a technology company, which paved the way for countries to impose stricter rules on the company.

In 2021, a top court ruling in the United Kingdom allowed for strengthened worker's protections for gig economy workers, who at the time represented about 5.5 million people in Britain, according to France 24

The ruling allowed for drivers with Uber to earn a minimum wage, holiday pay and a pension, and for the "more than 70,000 drivers in the UK [to] be treated as workers, earning at least the national living wage when driving with Uber," the taxi app said in a statement in March 2021.

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

Will the court ruling mean that prices rise?

Even though Uber and other ride-shares in France will begin raising minimum prices in February, Paris prices are already quite high by international standards. 

Paris was ranked the fourth most expensive global city for the price of a 10-kilometre ride after a study by Net Credit, with average prices set to $28.89 [€26.56] as of July 2022. 

In comparison, the most expensive city, Bern, Switzerland, saw $42.80 as the average price for a 10-kilometre ride, while Dublin, Ireland, the fifth most expensive right after Paris, tracked averages for this distance at $28.58. 


In London, even after Uber raised fares when courts ruled the company should add a 20 percent value added tax (VAT), the average price of a 10km ride came out to £20.50 [€23.41] still less than that of Paris.

But in New York city, where Uber fares have been known to be high, the average price per 10-kilometre trip was $34.74.

When compared with a standard taxi, in Paris it depends where you are going. If you are travelling to one of the Paris region airports, like Charles de Gaulle or Orly, then taxis will institute a standard price which could be higher (or lower, in some cases) than an Uber. 

READ MORE: The alternatives to taking taxis when visiting Paris

In contrast, the Paris Hotel Guide estimates that the price of an Uber going from Gare de Lyon to La Défense would cost between €35-47, whereas a taxi would cost between €33-39.

Outside of the large cities in France, ride shares can be hard to come by, making taxis still an important travel alternative for people in the French countryside.


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