More than 100 Uber drivers are looking to take action to be established with ‘worker’ status, as opposed to self-employed customers or partners, which is how they are currently listed by Uber.
The drivers have cited wanting the ‘rights that anyone who works is entitled to.’ This includes minimum wage and the right to paid holiday. Currently, drivers pay a fee to use Uber technology, and Uber take a 20% cut of their income.
Employment lawyer Nigel Mackay, representing the drivers, has said that Uber controls drivers in a way that means they are more than self-employed. They are given initial training, guides as to which routes to take, and have requirements for minimum hours worked each week. There are also health and safety issues involved as it is claimed Uber does not ensure drivers take breaks, nor does it enforce any maximum of hours worked per week.
Consequently, many drivers are working between 50-70 hours per week and are not entitled to paid time off. Mackay also noted that this is dangerous to themselves and others, as these longer working hours could lead to tiredness and accidents whilst driving.
On the other hand, Uber have said that their drivers want the flexibility they offer, and that the majority of drivers are taking home £10/12 per hour.
In recent months, Uber have rarely been out of the headlines. They recently won their legal battle against whether they count as a ‘taximeter’ – something reserved only for black cabs in London. It is presently uncertain what the outcome of this case will be.
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