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UK's Employment Appeal Tribunal rules that Uber must treat drivers as employees, not independent...

By Shawn Knight ยท 12 replies
Nov 10, 2017
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  1. The gig economy business model has been a key cog in Uber’s success to date but it’s not without controversy.

    The ride-hailing service argues that the system affords both drivers and employers a certain level of flexibility. It’s simple, really: work when you want to, don’t work when you don’t want to. Work and get paid. Don’t work and don’t get paid. You’re self-employed.

    This, conversely, means that drivers aren’t true employees but rather, are classified as independent contractors. Critics say, among other things, that such a classification exploits drivers and deprives them of benefits like unemployment insurance.

    Apparently, the UK’s Employment Appeal Tribunal agrees with critics.

    On Friday, the employment tribunal upheld an earlier ruling stating that Uber would have to ensure drivers in Britain are paid a minimum wage and can take time off. In other words, it totally upends Uber’s gig economy business model.

    Tom Elvidge, Uber’s acting head in Britain, said the transportation company would appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal or to Britain’s Supreme Court.

    The ruling is yet another hurdle Uber has faced in London in recent months. Back in September, the city’s transportation authority banned the company from operating in the capital city. That ruling is being appealed but in the meantime, Uber can continue to run its business there.

    London is Uber’s biggest market outside of the US. Disrupting service in the city would no doubt have a serious impact on the company's overall health and could even set precedent in other regions.

    In August, Uber appointed Dara Khosrowshahi as its new CEO, filling a vacancy left by ousted founder Travis Kalanick.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,280

    That gig economy business model makes a lot of sense. Employees are just liabilities to companies anyway.
  3. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,977   +2,153

    Well yes, avoiding regulations to increase profits has always had it's appeal. Not so good for the people on the other end of the stick though.
    Reehahs, Godel and Theinsanegamer like this.
  4. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,264   +1,366

    Makes a lot of sense to employers. To employees, not so much. The way these companies abuse their "contractors" proves they need to be reigned in.
    Godel likes this.
  5. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Guru Posts: 444   +488

    You need a good union
  6. turismozilla

    turismozilla TS Addict Posts: 174   +55

    "That's socialism!" -Anyrightwinger.
  7. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,280

    I agree with all of you but as employees, you have to realize you are more of a liability to a company than an asset. It gets proven everyday when you see all these huge companies laying off staff ad lib, the smaller ones go completely unnoticed. It's each and every individuals responsibility to secure their own futures, not their bosses. I learned that lesson the hard way myself.
  8. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,977   +2,153

    Yes but these companies also have a basic moral responsibility. If all you expect from these companies is the worst, it will just lead to a regressive cycle where companies will continue to take less and less responsibility, like the days of the industrial revolution where companies weren't expected to do anything but profit.
  9. Hexic

    Hexic TS Maniac Posts: 390   +232

    I've never understood the 'moral' argument regarding this drama of "contracted" employees for Uber. If you, as a free citizen, want to work for Uber fully knowing that you are said contractor, then work for them. If you don't agree with their business practices, don't. It is the epitome of 'no-strings-attached' employment.

    What I see realistically happening, is the lawmakers being lobbied by the Taxi industry (city governments, etc.) to push out Uber due to Taxis archaic price structure and operations being ran, thus they are getting mopped in virtually every city. Then they are all wrapping this up into a buzzword "employer morality" clause, to help get the public's opinion who tend to fall for emotions over actual facts. Don't be fooled, it's the same political BS that's been going on for decades.

    I know numerous Uber/Lyft drivers, and they enjoy every facet of the job, with the exception of individuals puking in their car after a late weekend night. Uber wouldn't be having so many drivers if the drivers weren't being taken care of enough to keep on driving.
  10. Ultraman1966

    Ultraman1966 TS Booster Posts: 109   +23

    No you don't. A good government doing its job should make Unions redundant.
  11. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Guru Posts: 444   +488

    Pipe dream
  12. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,031   +2,425

    In Ireland we already have 3 times more cabs than needed, roads are crawling with them, does wonders to the traffic. If anything, regulations for their work should get tougher, not simpler.
  13. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,280

    Yes, but a good government is something mythical. Governments aren't there for their people, not in the slightest, they're only there for themselves.

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