April 13, 2021

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Uber to classify its UK drivers as employees

March 16, 2021 | 4:46 p.m.

Following the court ruling, Uber will offer its drivers in the UK with a minimum wage and paid vacation, which marks a 180-degree turn in the country’s digital platforms model.

More than 70,000 drivers in the United Kingdom will receive these benefits from Wednesday, the U.S. platform for car booking with a driver announced in a statement Tuesday.

Uber shares fell 0.34% after falling more than 2% in hourly trading on Wall Street on Tuesday.

This is a profound change for Uber, whose drivers have until now been self-employed.

The company acted quickly after initiating a broad consultation with its drivers and a month after its failure before the British Supreme Court.

On February 19 it ruled that drivers could be treated as workers and, therefore, receive the social benefits associated with it.

The court ruled in favor of a group of about 20 drivers who sought this status through estimates, for example, of the time spent linking to the application and the control the company pays on them.

British law distinguishes “workers” from those with a formal employment contract, in the strict sense of the word, who receive the minimum wage and other benefits.

Uber drivers in the UK will earn the minimum wage, be entitled to paid leave and be able to contribute to the company-funded retirement plan.

The minimum wage in the UK will rise to 7 8.72 an hour (12 12.12) and 8. 8.91 in April.

An Uber driver earns more than the average: £ 17 in London and 14 in other parts of the country.

The company says that while the company maintains the flexibility of its working conditions, all its drivers will benefit from these benefits.

These benefits are in addition to existing ones such as free access to health insurance and compensation for parental leave.

“This is an important day for UK drivers,” said Jamie Howe, head of Uber’s Northern and Eastern Europe.

“Uber is only a part of the car booking industry and we hope other operators will join us in improving the working conditions of these workers who are essential to our daily lives,” he added.

Will rates rise?

Uber did not specify the cost of these measures, but it should be very substantial, which would still weigh a little more on the weak finances of a company that is going through a bad time due to unprofitable and anti-epidemic controls.

Uberin Q4 2020 Results

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Since this group will not be able to achieve a massive increase in its rates, especially in London, which will have great competition, it will have to absorb a portion of the cost.

But by granting driver status to drivers, the company saves a lengthy process in the British courts, as the Supreme Court ruling may have allowed drivers to go to court to claim the rights granted to them by Uber.

For now, the team is only taking this step in the UK, and will study market-by-market how to model it.

In February, Uber CEO Tara Kosroshahi presented a series of plans to governments and unions in Europe.

What is proposed in California can be reflected in Europe, i.e. independent drivers but the best thing for Uber to receive compensation.

It remains to be seen whether the Uber announcement will have an impact on other digital platforms in the UK that are symbols of the economy. Kick, I.e., dangerous and poorly paid jobs.

Delivery couriers are awaiting the verdict of the London Court of Appeal to determine whether they can benefit from a collective agreement to have better working conditions.