Ebene News – GB – UK’s highest court rules on Uber driver status

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February 19, 2021

by Jean-Baptiste Oubrier

UK Supreme Court due to rule on employment status of Uber drivers on Friday in judgment with wider implications for ‘odd-job economy’

The decision is set for 9.45 a.m. GMT after a years-long legal battle, with the US taxi and delivery company suffering court defeats in 2017 and 2018

The lower courts have ruled in favor of a group of 20 Uber drivers who claim they are entitled to employee status given the length of time they worked through the Uber app and the way the company supervised their work

Employee status would mean they were entitled to benefits, including a minimum hourly wage and paid public holidays

Uber insists that drivers are self-employed because they choose their own hours and location, and often find passengers through competing apps

If the Supreme Court rules against Uber, the plaintiffs who started the case can seek compensation in an employment tribunal, which could trigger more far-reaching changes affecting all carpool drivers

The move could also affect the online platforms behind Britain’s so-called odd-job economy – people doing short-term work without a formal contract or working without guaranteed hours

The couriers of the Deliveroo app are currently fighting in the London Court of Appeal for the right to collective bargaining

Drivers can now choose when and where they drive and can also access free health insurance as well as compensation for parental leave, the statement said

Ahead of court ruling, Uber pledged to boost driver protection while keeping them independent

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi presented a series of pledges to governments and European unions on Monday

He said the aim was to offer a transparent and fair pay structure, and more benefits to drivers

Uber calls on companies in the industry to create a pooled fund that would allow drivers working for different applications to access protections and benefits such as paid time off

Uber plans to replicate in Europe the proposals it first made in California, after a U.S. state court ordered the platform to classify its tens of thousands of drivers as employees

But voters in November then backed Proposition 22, a measure designed by Uber and other companies in concert that would mean drivers would remain independent contractors while enjoying certain benefits.

Friday’s decision is unlikely to affect Uber’s right to operate in London, which has been the subject of a separate dispute

Last September, the platform regained its rights to London for 18 months, after a court overturned a decision by city authorities to suspend its license over concerns over passenger safety

© 2021 AFP

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Uber Technologies Inc, Supreme Court, United Kingdom

Ebene News – GB – Britain’s highest court rules on the status of Uber drivers

Source: https://techxplore.com/news/2021-02-uk-court-uber-drivers-status.html