Taxi Driver Online

UK cab trade debate and advice
It is currently Thu Mar 04, 2021 4:31 pm

All times are UTC - 1 hour [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 6
Uber judgment is set to reshape the gig economy

https://www.ft.com/content/fa86829e-1eb ... 2110a752cd

Move fast and break things, runs a Silicon Valley aphorism. In Uber’s case, one of those things turned out to be British employment law. The UK Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal by the taxi booking app against a lower court’s judgment that its drivers should be classified as “workers” rather than self-employed. That grants them the entitlement to holiday pay, sick pay and the minimum wage. The decision strikes not only at the heart of the company’s business model but the gig economy generally.

This is by no means the first case that Uber has lost. In California, courts similarly backed the idea that drivers using the service ought to be classed as employed by the company rather than independent contractors — though this was weakened by a referendum. In the UK, the question rested on the degree of control the company enjoys over drivers. Lord George Legatt, who wrote the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling, said “the question . . . is not whether the system of control operated by Uber is in its commercial interests, but whether it places drivers in a position of subordination to Uber. It plainly does.”

The judgment, however, rests on specific facts about the relationship between Uber and its employees. The court asserted that Uber set maximum fares, drivers had no say in their contracts and the application imposed penalties if drivers cancelled too many requests. This level of control meant drivers could not increase their income using “professional or entrepreneurial skill”, the court concluded, meaning they worked for Uber and not themselves.

It remains to be seen how Uber will react and whether it can tweak the platform so that it reduces this control, allowing drivers to be genuinely self-employed. If it does so, however, it will mean the taxi booking app will be less able to guarantee a uniform service. The alternative would mean raising prices to cover the additional costs associated with conforming to the law. Either way, the company's business model in the UK — London is one of its few profitable markets worldwide — will have to change.

The principles behind the judgment should also worry other gig economy businesses and their investors. Start-ups that want to control their workers and guarantee a particular kind of service will in exchange have to provide them with sick pay, holiday pay and the minimum wage. That will raise costs and reduce returns. The days of profiting from ambiguity in UK employment law could come to an end. 

Ultimately, however, the judgment is an indictment not of UK employment law but its enforcement. It took five years for the drivers to get justice. In addition to the harm done to workers, potential competitors to Uber who played by the rules may have struggled in the interim — penalised by the unfair competition. The impact of the decision may be piecemeal too: workers at other companies will have to bring their own cases and cite the decision as precedent. In the short term, many will not enjoy all their legal rights.

Britain needs to take a wider look at how it regulates the labour market as novel forms of work proliferate — delivery drivers have been one of the few professions to see their ranks swell during the pandemic. It also needs to take a more proactive approach to enforcing the laws that exist; every court has agreed with the Supreme Court’s interpretation but no agency proactively sought to enforce it. The government’s recently created position of director of labour market enforcement is soon to be vacant. The government must move fast to fill it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:22 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 6:30 pm
Posts: 47216
Location: 1066 Country
I think the gov should act as it seems crazy that taxi/PH drivers need to go to an Employment Tribunal to gain the rights most other workers take for granted.

But they could argue that don't need to legislate anew, as the Supreme Court found dealing with this issue quite easy, and all the case law supported the issue of giving taxi/PH drivers working rights.

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 5:33 am
Posts: 7082
Quote:
...potential competitors to Uber who played by the rules may have struggled in the interim — penalised by the unfair competition.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Which competitors 'played by the rules'? :roll:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:09 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:27 pm
Posts: 18607
StuartW wrote:
Quote:
...potential competitors to Uber who played by the rules may have struggled in the interim — penalised by the unfair competition.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Which competitors 'played by the rules'? :roll:

Me, But I guess that I am not really a competitor. :D

_________________
Grandad,
old fart with no heart


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:33 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 10:47 pm
Posts: 15223
Location: Stamford Britains prettiest town till SKDC ruined it
grandad wrote:
StuartW wrote:
Quote:
...potential competitors to Uber who played by the rules may have struggled in the interim — penalised by the unfair competition.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Which competitors 'played by the rules'? :roll:

Me, But I guess that I am not really a competitor. :D



of course you are just not directly with Uber ...



... YET

_________________
Taxis Are Public Transport too

Join the campaign to get April fools jokes banned for 364 days a year !


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 1 hour [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 42 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group