The Repression of Illegal Work Challenged by False Self-Employment

  • Par la rédaction du site CREOGN
  • Publié le 29 août 2023, mis à jour le 24 novembre 2023

Research Note Issue 80

"An interministerial "anti-fraud" committee devoted to the fight against illegal work met on 11 March 2022 and presented the results of the National Plan to Combat Illegal Work 2019-2021, as well as the first orientations for the 2022-2024 plan. The latter pointed out the development of fraud related to “false” self-employment, particularly through networking platforms.

The balance between the status of self-employed and that of employee is now in turmoil in the light of the development of the "gig economy" ». This context brings to the fore an old question: where to draw the line between wage labour and self-employment? This question might seem trivial if it did not bring with it its share of social, economic and legal consequences. Beyond the issue of labour law, it is also a whole social security system that conditions the qualification of the worker, hence the temptation for companies to falsely use workers declared as self-employed to escape social and regulatory "constraints", which are just as much protection from the worker's point of view. These frauds can be apprehended from the angle and under the legal classification of illegal work. Yet, where does one draw the line between the lawful and the illicit? Once the practice is hypothetically identified as illegal work, to what extent can the existing repressive apparatus act? It is to these two intrinsically linked questions that this article opts to shed light, by examining to what extent the situation of a "false" self-employed person can be identified and fall under the classification of illegal work (I), before questioning the effectiveness of the repressive apparatus to deal with these situations (II)..."

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