Recently in the United Kingdom (UK), Uber Technologies Inc. has lost a legal battle against the UK Supreme Court, and will now classify its UK drivers as workers, and not self-employed.
Essentially, that means UK Uber drivers, which amount to 70.000 (according to the company itself), will now have benefits similar to those of a fixed employee. From the advantages the company’s drivers will be having from now on, it’s possible to highlight that they’ll get minimum wages of £8.72 per hour worked for those older than 25 years, insurance free of charge for injuries and sickness, a pension plan composed of contributions from both Uber and the driver, and holiday pay based on their earnings.
It’s worth noting that the benefits do not threaten the freedom of choosing how to work, a convenience the company’s drivers are usually looking for when they start working with the ride-hailing app. Driving for Uber in the UK will still be a flexible job.
Globally, this event could be a step towards giving rights to the company’s drivers in other parts of the world, and to other freelance workers as well. At the same time, it could also shake the gig economy, with many small, freelance-based businesses closing, while others keep functioning with a reduced, specialized number of employees.