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Uber’s 70,000 UK drivers will now be guaranteed the National Living Wage, in addition to holiday pay and pension.
The move comes after Uber lost its final appeal in the UK Supreme Court in February, which ruled that the company’s drivers should be classed as workers and not as self-employed.
Writing in the Evening Standard, Uber’s chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said the ride-hailing app was “turning a page.”
“Following last month’s UK Supreme Court ruling, we could have continued to dispute drivers’ rights to any of these protections in court,” wrote Khosrowshahi. “Instead, we have decided to turn the page. Beginning today, Uber drivers in the UK will be treated as workers.”
Following the Supreme Court ruling in February, Uber was strategically specific in its statement, saying, “We respect the Court’s decision which focussed on a small number of drivers who used the Uber app in 2016.” At the time, it was unclear as to whether it would apply the ruling to all of its UK-based workers.
Uber had lost three previous court cases prior to appealing to the Supreme Court, and argued that its drivers were independent contractors rather than workers.
After a years-long legal battle and multiple courtroom defeats, Uber has suddenly decided to do the right thing.
In the Standard article, Khosrowshahi made a distinction between an employee and a worker. “A worker is a classification that is unique under UK employment law,” he wrote. “Workers are not employees but are entitled to certain social protections.” Those protections mean drivers would earn at least the National Living Wage, or £8.72 an hour, in addition to holiday pay and pension rights.
Uber has said that fares will not rise as a result of these changes.
Mick Rix, national officer at GMB, the union for Uber drivers, said in a statement, “Uber had to be dragged kicking and screaming to do the right thing, but finally they’ve agreed to follow the ruling of the courts and treat their drivers as workers.”
“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. Rix said other gig economy companies should take note. “This is the end of the road for bogus self employment.”
Better late than never, we guess?
ที่มา : Mashable