According to the Australian Business Insider, Friday a London employment tribunal rule that drivers for “car sharing” service Uber are workers and not self-employed contractors — and entitled to benefits like sick pay and the minimum wage.
Because Uber has always maintained that its drivers are independent contractors, and it is just a tech platform connecting riders and drivers, the ruling could have huge implications for Uber’s 40,000 British drivers.
Consequences may also be felt far more broadly throughout the “gig” economy — a growing sector of on-demand services including transportation, food, and cleaning, powered by smartphone apps. Owners claim these extremely profitable companies provide convenience for users and flexibility for workers. Labor advocates are mainly concerned about their ruthless exploitation of their workers. See Uber Car Leasing Program Turns Drivers into Modern Day Sharecroppers and The Ugly Truth about Airbnb, Uber and Task Rabbit
Uber is the most high-profile of these on-demand companies. However 2015 research from Citizens Advice found that as many as 460,000 Brits may be “bogusly self-employed.” This is nearly 10% of the UK’s 4.8 million self-employed workers today.
Read more at The Bombshell Uber Driver Ruling