UK Uber drivers to receive a pension, vacation pay, others
The United Kingdom end of ride-hailing company Uber has agreed to absolve its 70,000 drivers will as employees of the company entitled to a minimum wage of £8.72 ($12.11) an hour – plus vacation pay, and a pension plan.
This agreement to recognize all freelance drivers came after a court ruling last month that entitled workers to seek more pay and benefits but Uber resisted classifying them as employees. It however made a U-turn on Wednesday.
Uber has thus acknowledged that the people who make its British business a business at all are not just casual workers but people for whom driving for the company is their main job and source of income.
That’s more a point of a principle than anything else since we imagine most of Uber UK’s drivers are earning more than minimum wage anyway.
The Register reported that It’s not clear whether this change will be expanded to Uber drivers in other countries, in large part because the UK is unusual in that it has a category of worker that is neither employee nor freelance; something that most countries don’t. Broadly, in the UK, a “worker” gets several key employee benefits, such as the minimum wage, but is not entitled to things like maternity/paternity leave or severance pay.
In the US, where Uber is headquartered and represents its largest market, the battle over drivers’ status is ongoing: California’s legislature passed a law (AB5) that came into effect in January last year that forced gig-economy companies like Uber to recognize their drivers as employees, but that measure was then overridden in November by a ballot measure (developed and supported by Uber) in which California voters exempted app-based drivers from AB5 and allowed Uber et al to continue to treat their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.