Last year, six Foodora “riders” claimed before the Court of Turin for the requalification of their relationships as “regular” employees.
On April 5th, 2018, the Court of Turin rejected their judicial claims, considering that their contractual relationship could not be qualified as a regular employment relationship, especially because riders had no obligation to perform their working activity, as they were free to deny their availability to do shifts.
On January 11th, 2019, following the “riders” claim against the mentioned verdict, Turin Court of Appeal radically overturned its first instance ruling.
The reasoning behind the decision has not been made public at this stage, but the Court has already made it clear its fundamental statement: “riders” shall not be treated like independent contractors.
In particular, in the Court’s interpretation, “riders” contractual relationship with the company shall be properly qualified as the “collaborative relationship” provided by article no. 2, Legislative Decree 81/2015 (the so-called Jobs Act).
This contractual figure consists in a “personal and continuous performance of work, organized by the employer also with reference to timings and place of work” (the so called “etero-organization”).
For its peculiar characterization, the institute constitutes a “tertium genus” which places between the “regular” employment relationship and pure self-employment.
Because of the “organizational” role played by the employer, the employment relationship regime applies to the mentioned relationship.
Given this fundamental principle, the Court recognized to the “riders” the remuneration treatments as provided for the V Level of the National Collective Bargaining Agreement of the Delivery and Logistics’ Sector.
This right, as recognized by the Court, will entitle them to year-end additional monthly income (the so – called 13th), paid holidays and sick leave.
We shall await the grounds of the verdict, in order to better evaluate which are the specific elements that determined the Court to that decision.
The ruling has anyway certainly redefined the borders of one of the most sensitive contractual relationship of the “gig economy” and will surly influence the future political and legislative debate.