Uber Judgment: Workers’ Rights Introduction Is Not Enough

February 22, 2021

Following the UK Supreme Court judgment that all Uber drivers must be considered as workers, Uber laid out how its workers’ rights will be used in practice. 

According to the new rules, all UK Uber drivers will be ‘guaranteed’ national minimum wage, holiday pay, and a pension schemeThis will impact 70,000 drivers in the UK, but omits Uber Eats.  

We believe that, additionally to these new rules, drivers are owed compensation for backdated holiday and minimum wage payments. Uber failed to mention this in their roadmap for the future, and we do not think this is good enough. 

Uber’s terms simplified 

Put simply, Uber has ‘committed’ that, after 17 March 2021, every driver will be entitled to: 

  • An additional 12.07% every two weeks to reflect your right to paid holiday
  • At least the national minimum wage (£8.72 an hour) from the time a trip is accepted to its completion
  • A pension scheme, which you will be automatically enrolled into with contributions from Uber and the driver
  • Holiday payments, according to Uber, will begin in May 2021 and will be backdated from 17 March 2021.  

They have also offered drivers some reassurances: 

  • Flexibility over when and how you earn on the app
  • Fares are still calculated in the same way
  • Upfront pricing still applies
  • No changes to trip information or service fee
  • You can still drive with other operators. 

Is it enough? 

Although Uber believes it is ‘turning the page’ on workers’ rights by introducing the national minimum wage for its drivers, we do not think it has gone far enough.  

“Whilst, broadly speaking, the shift in Uber’s position should be considered as a step in the right direction, we invite drivers to read between the lines of what is actually being offered,” said Chris Neill, Partner and Chief Legal Officer. 

“The Supreme Court’s judgment was clear in classifying Uber drivers as workers from the moment they log into the app to the moment they log off – this is yet to be truly acknowledged in Uber’s actions.  

When it comes to employment rights, you simply shouldn’t have to compromise. 

We believe that Uber drivers could be entitled to up to £12,000 in compensation for backdated holiday pay and national minimum wage, and we are currently litigating against Uber to make this a reality. 

Chris continued: “We want those drivers affected to know that we are well and truly on their side and will continue fighting for the full extent of what they deserve.” 

The next steps  

The judgment is likely to have a huge impact on the gig economy as a whole, thus the next steps taken are of the utmost importance.  

We believe the practices Uber have put into place are insufficient and do not fully adhere to the Supreme Court ruling. 

While Uber drivers will be getting minimum wage per trip, they will still not be paid for the time they spend waiting in between jobs.  

If you are one of our clients, we will be reaching out to you very soon to make sure you are aware of the changes taking place and to see how we can best assist you going forward 

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