Pressure on gig economy companies as Uber drivers win new rights
Uber has confirmed that its drivers in the UK will receive earnings guarantee, holiday pay and pensions in a landmark move that could bring pressures across the gig economy.
The changes kick in from today (17 March 2021) and will mean that more than 70,000 drivers in the UK will be treated as workers, earning at least the National Living Wage when driving with Uber.
Uber added that the minimum wage “is a floor and not a ceiling”, with drivers able to earn more, as they usually do.
In addition, all drivers will retain the freedom to choose if, when and where they drive.
Jamie Heywood, regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, Uber said:
“This is an important day for drivers in the UK. Uber drivers will receive an earnings guarantee, holiday pay and a pension, and will retain the flexibility they currently value. Uber is just one part of a larger private-hire industry, so we hope that all other operators will join us in improving the quality of work for these important workers who are an essential part of our everyday lives.”
However, according to reports, Uber will not pay drivers for the time spent waiting in-between jobs while couriers in its Uber Eats food delivery business will remain self-employed.
The new workers’ rights for Uber drivers follow a Supreme Court ruling in February 2021 that its drivers are not self-employed, but are workers entitled to workers’ rights including holiday pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and an entitlement to breaks.
It was the fourth time Uber has lost in court over its treatment of drivers.
Mick Rix, national officer at the GMB union, said: “It’s a shame it took GMB winning four court battles to make them see sense, but we got there in the end and ultimately that’s a big win for our members.”
He added: “Other gig economy companies should take note – this is the end of the road for bogus self-employment.”