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Uber drivers entitled to worker rights, top UK court rules in blow to business model


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Uber drivers entitled to worker rights, top UK court rules in blow to business model

By Costas Pitas

 

2021-02-19T105159Z_3_LYNXMPEH1I0K2_RTROPTP_4_UBER-BRITAIN.JPG

FILE PHOTO: The Logo of taxi company Uber is seen on the roof of a private hire taxi in Liverpool, Britain, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble

 

LONDON (Reuters) - A group of Uber drivers are entitled to worker rights such as the minimum wage, Britain's Supreme Court ruled on Friday in a blow to the ride-hailing service that has ramifications for millions of others in the gig economy.

 

In a case led by two former Uber drivers, a London employment tribunal ruled in 2016 that they were due entitlements that also included paid holidays and rest breaks.

 

Uber drivers are currently treated as self-employed, meaning that by law they are only afforded minimal protections, a status the Silicon Valley-based company sought to maintain a long-running legal tussle.

 

"The Supreme Court unanimously dismisses Uber's appeal," judge George Leggatt said on Friday.

 

"The legislation is intended to give certain protections to vulnerable individuals who have little or no say over their pay and working conditions."

 

A total of 25 drivers were part of the case and Uber said the verdict did not apply to all of its current 60,000 drivers in Britain, including 45,000 in London, one of its most important global markets.

 

"We respect the Court's decision which focused on a small number of drivers who used the Uber app in 2016," said its Northern and Eastern Europe boss Jamie Heywood.

 

"We are committed to doing more and will now consult with every active driver across the UK to understand the changes they want to see."

 

Uber shares fell 3.4% in premarket trading following the court announcement.

 

GIG ECONOMY WORKERS

 

The gig economy, where people tend to work for one or more companies on a job-by-job basis, has faced criticism from trade unions who say it is exploitative, while businesses say many of those working in it enjoy the flexibility.

 

It could still take several months for the details of Friday's decision to be worked at a further employment tribunal hearing to sort through practicalities over sums owed to drivers, according to lawyers.

 

Law firm Leigh Day says eligible drivers may be entitled to an average of 12,000 pounds ($16,780) in compensation. It represents more than 2,000 potential claimants.

 

Uber has faced opposition from unions and challenges to its business model in several countries as it disrupts the taxi market.

 

In November, however, it saw off a challenge in its home market of California where voters backed a ballot proposal that cemented app-based food delivery and ride-hail drivers' status as independent contractors, not employees.

 

One of the two former Uber drivers who led the British case, James Farrar, called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government to do more to reform the gig economy.

 

"I am delighted that workers at last have some remedy because of this ruling, but the government must urgently strengthen the law so that gig workers may also have access to sick pay and protection from unfair dismissal."

 

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Pravin Char)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-02-20
 
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I'm at a loss to figure out how they are employees. They own their own car, they are dispatched to a potential fare, they pay for the dispatch (Uber/grab...) and they are paid for the journey. 

 

They now have rights which they will now have to pay for. Thin end of the wedge? Next comes income tax and VAT.

 

Like all stuff involving governments. Be careful what you wish for!

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11 minutes ago, VocalNeal said:

I'm at a loss to figure out how they are employees. They own their own car, they are dispatched to a potential fare, they pay for the dispatch (Uber/grab...) and they are paid for the journey. 

 

They now have rights which they will now have to pay for. Thin end of the wedge? Next comes income tax and VAT.

 

Like all stuff involving governments. Be careful what you wish for!

On the flip side:

 

International corporation making vast profits wishes to avoid paying working people basic levels of income and work place benefits.

 

Just one example of why ordinary working people are unable to earn a decent living.

 

Shill for international corporations, you know it makes sense.

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14 minutes ago, Chomper Higgot said:

Shill for international corporations, you know it makes sense.

 

Ad hominem. I believe is the correct response? 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, VocalNeal said:

 

Ad hominem. I believe is the correct response? 

 

 

It’s not an ‘ad hominen’ to observe and comment on an individual’s statements as they pertain to the topic under discussion.

 

ad ho·mi·nem
/ˌad ˈhämənəm/
 
adjective
  1. (of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

 

 

 

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55 minutes ago, VocalNeal said:

I'm at a loss to figure out how they are employees. They own their own car, they are dispatched to a potential fare, they pay for the dispatch (Uber/grab...) and they are paid for the journey. 

 

They now have rights which they will now have to pay for. Thin end of the wedge? Next comes income tax and VAT.

 

Like all stuff involving governments. Be careful what you wish for!

Thankfully for Uber drivers and their rights the U.K. Supreme Court has a better grasp of the definition of an employee than you. 
 

https://amp.theguardian.com/technology/2021/feb/19/uber-drivers-workers-uk-supreme-court-rules-rights

 

“The court concluded that the drivers were workers because of Uber’s level of control over them, including setting fares and not informing them of a passenger’s destination until they were picked up.

It ruled that Uber must consider drivers as workers from the time they log on to the app, until they log off.”

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The same recently happened in the Netherlands to drivers for I think Deliveroo, a food delivery service.

 

Excellent the courts are seeing through the attempts of the businesses to avoid paying decent wages.

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9 hours ago, Bluespunk said:

Thankfully for Uber drivers and their rights the U.K. Supreme Court has a better grasp of the definition of an employee than you. 
 

https://amp.theguardian.com/technology/2021/feb/19/uber-drivers-workers-uk-supreme-court-rules-rights

 

“The court concluded that the drivers were workers because of Uber’s level of control over them, including setting fares and not informing them of a passenger’s destination until they were picked up.

It ruled that Uber must consider drivers as workers from the time they log on to the app, until they log off.”

 

How's that different from a normal cabbie who owns his car and hack shield?  Rates are dictated, and he doesn't know where his fares are going until he picks them up...

 

 

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14 minutes ago, impulse said:

 

How's that different from a normal cabbie who owns his car and hack shield?  Rates are dictated, and he doesn't know where his fares are going until he picks them up...

 

 

Ask the Supreme Court. 

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14 minutes ago, impulse said:

 

How's that different from a normal cabbie who owns his car and hack shield?  Rates are dictated, and he doesn't know where his fares are going until he picks them up...

 

 

Nobody else other than the cabbie and the passenger are involved in the booking

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15 minutes ago, Bluespunk said:
29 minutes ago, impulse said:

How's that different from a normal cabbie who owns his car and hack shield?  Rates are dictated, and he doesn't know where his fares are going until he picks them up...

Ask the Supreme Court. 

 

They won't take my calls.

 

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10 hours ago, VocalNeal said:

I'm at a loss to figure out how they are employees. They own their own car, they are dispatched to a potential fare, they pay for the dispatch (Uber/grab...) and they are paid for the journey. 

 

They now have rights which they will now have to pay for. Thin end of the wedge? Next comes income tax and VAT.

 

Like all stuff involving governments. Be careful what you wish for!

Tax and vat is not the issue. If they expected to work a certain amount of time and pay the commission then by law they are entitled to it.

 

what part of lawful and unlawful in employment law dont you understand.

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Enzian has it in one.   If the drivers have to be 'employed' then the inventors behind the creation will just pull out or employ only small numbers due to national insurance and taxation requirements.

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5 minutes ago, Postmaster said:

Enzian has it in one.   If the drivers have to be 'employed' then the inventors behind the creation will just pull out or employ only small numbers due to national insurance and taxation requirements.

If they employ only small numbers they will only have a small number of cars.

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