Uber drivers in the UK: evolution or revolution?

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In a statement released on March 16, Uber announced their new worker status to its 70,000 UK drivers. Direct consequences for those concerned: a minimum wage and paid holidays. What can we expect from this decision?

Consequence of a legal defeat

Uber was quick to react, after the decision of the British Supreme Court on February 19, which had ruled in favor of the self-employed believing they had the right to the status of worker. A terrible defeat for the American giant, but victory for the more than 70,000 British drivers who are now entitled to social benefits.

What does this evolution mean on the part of the transport platform? By granting the status of “worker” to drivers, separate from that of “employee”, an employee in the strict sense with more important rights, Uber is anticipating what could have turned out to be a costly legal proceeding. ” It’s an important day for drivers in the UK “, congratulates himself Jamie Heywood, boss of Northern and Eastern Europe of the Californian company.

No big upheaval to expect, but uncertainty for Uber

This decision should not, however, be like wildfire in the other countries where Uber operates. At least not immediately, Uber intending to adapt market by market. For Mary Kay Henry, President of the International Union of Service Employees, this decision ” clearly shows that Uber can choose at any time to properly register their drivers and pay them a living wage ». Director-General Dara Khosrowshahi has, however, submitted a series of proposals to governments and unions in Europe. The idea would be to apply the Californian model : independent drivers, but who receive compensation. In France, drivers remain self-employed.

In short, certain changes for the drivers who benefit from them, but an additional uncertainty for Uber, which should absorb the cost of these measures. It is indeed difficult to increase prices in a context of strong competition.

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