Uber’s move to pay drivers in the UK the National Living Wage, pension contributions and holiday pay has not come as a surprise according to some industry commentators.
“Following last month’s Supreme Court ruling that their drivers are workers and entitled to these remuneration components, Uber were left with no choice but to meet their legal obligations,” says Rebecca Thornley-Gibson, partner at DMH Stallard. “What Uber have not yet announced is how they will deal with past failures to make these payments and when drivers will receive these monies. As that will be a significant cost to Uber and involve complex calculations, those fighting on behalf on the drivers will continue to be involved in discussions that should result in settling historic underpayments.”
Stallard notes the latest move is yet another twist in the story of the gig economy as it faces challenges on how to treat individuals who earn their living from it.
“Non traditional working structures do not always result in an abdication of employment rights,” she says, “and it is likely we’ll see further extension of employment rights to more individuals, as the ’employee/worker/self employed’ status issues continue to be brought to the courts for determination.”