How to be careful with independent workers so that they don’t become an employee: some dos and don’ts

Independent workers and employees are not subject to the same rules under French law.

How can they be distinguished?

The main criterion to distinguish a self-employed independent worker from an employee is the subordination link.

While independent workers carry out their activity on their own account, employees are bound to an employer through an employment contract.

What conditions have to be met?

The two main conditions for using a self-employed person are the following:

  • The self-employed person is an expert in their specific field; and
  • The client does not have such expertise in-house.

What are the recommendations in practice?

In order to avoid being considered as employees, it is important that independent contractors:

  • DON’T have business cards in the name of the client entity;
  • DO have their own email address;
  • DO have several clients;
  • DO draw up their own invoices according to their own drafts;
  • DO have their own professional tools (computer, etc.);
  • DON’T have their performance monitored electronically;
  • DO get paid for the specific task or project and DON’T get paid on an hourly basis.

These points will have to be followed all the more closely for gig workers in view of the proposed European Union directive according to which, depending on defined criteria, platforms may be legally presumed to be an employer.