Uber will make their 70,000 UK drivers 'workers' from TODAY

Uber will make their 70,000 UK drivers ‘workers’ from TODAY giving them holiday pay and minimum wage after losing Supreme Court battle

  • More than 70,000 drivers were last month ruled by judges to be employees 
  • It puts drivers in line for benefits which are set to take effect from Wednesday 
  • Trade unions bosses said ‘Uber had to be dragged kicking and screaming’ 

Uber drivers in Britain will receive a minimum wage, holiday pay and pensions after the ride-hailing app lost a landmark Supreme Court case.

More than 70,000 drivers were last month ruled by judges to be employees of the company under UK law.

The legal case puts the drivers in line for benefits which are set to take effect today.

Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, described it as ‘an important day’ for drivers in the UK.

He said: ‘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.’ 

More than 70,000 drivers were last month ruled by judges to be employees of the company under UK law

It comes a month after the Uber firm lost a legal battle in the UK, begun in 2016, over drivers’ status.

Drivers said they were workers whereas Uber operating companies said drivers were contractors, not workers.

The Supreme Court ruling defined Uber drivers as workers, prompting lawyers to say it meant they would be entitled to workers’ rights such as holiday pay and compensation for lost pay.

Uber, which was launched in the UK in 2012, said its drivers will now earn at least the National Living Wage.

On average, its drivers earn £17 per hour in London and £14 in the rest of the UK.

All drivers will be receive holiday time based on 12.07% of their earnings, which will be paid out on a fortnightly basis.

They will be automatically enrolled in a pension scheme. The drivers have been told of their new rights.

Uber operating companies had appealed to the Supreme Court after losing three earlier rounds of the legal fight.

Employment tribunals and Court of Appeal judges had ruled against Uber – and Supreme Court judges unanimously dismissed Uber’s appeal. 

GMB, the union for Uber drivers, says the company has finally done the right thing.

Mick Rix, GMB national officer, said: ‘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.’

He added: ‘GMB has consistently said we are willing to speak face to face to Uber about its treatment of drivers  – our door remains open.

‘Other gig economy companies should take note – this is the end of the road for bogus self employment.’

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said it would ‘check the small print of this offer’, which it feels is ‘a big step in the right direction’ from Uber.

She said that gig economy workers deserve to be treated with ‘dignity at work, and to be given the same basic rights as everybody else’.

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