Ride-hailing app Uber will be giving its UK drivers the minimum wage, pensions and holiday pay. This is following the UK's Supreme Court verdict stating that these drivers are workers too and are entitled to benefits. This has started a new conversation stating that will this become a global norm for San Francisco-based Uber.
While the decision in the UK was made mainly due to the verdict of the year-long court battle, in Canada the company is proposing changes to labour laws that would allow its employees to receive benefits and safety protection, according to The Canadian Press.
Andrew MacDonald, Uber’s senior vice-president says, “Our view is our current employment system is outdated, unfair, and somewhat inflexible and some workers get benefits and protections and others don’t. We feel that COVID has exposed some of those fundamental flaws and think this is a good opportunity for change.” In Canada, Uber drivers have had concerns about the company’s treatment of workers after a pay change ended up dropping per-trip earnings from $10 down to $3.99 last year.
In the case of Uber UK, the company has extended the benefits immediately to its more than 70,000 drivers in the UK. Drivers will earn at least the minimum wage, which currently stands at 8.72 pounds ($ 12.12), after accepting a trip request and expenses, and will still be able to earn more, stated an AP report.
In addition, the drivers will also get holiday pay equal to about 12 per cent of their earnings, paid every two weeks. Then, there is a pension plan as well.
“This is an important day for drivers in the UK,” Uber’s regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, Jamie Heywood, said in a filing to the SEC. He noted that drivers will still be able to work on a flexible basis.
Meanwhile, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam of the App Drivers And Couriers Union said in a statement that it is slightly late and does not address the pay calculation model.
In addition, it started a new conversation on social media. The question here is if it will become a global model. Some Twitter users encouraged this move by Uber.