Uber recognizes UK drivers as salaried worker, a world first

This decision of the British company is the consequence of its legal defeat of the British Supreme Court, seized by drivers wishing to have their status of worker recognized.

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It is a world first for American society. Uber will grant its British drivers the status of salaried workers, with minimum wage and paid vacation. The American car reservation giant announced in a press release Tuesday March 16 that all of its more than 70,000 drivers in the country will benefit from these advantages from Wednesday. This is a sea change for Uber, whose drivers have until now been self-employed.

The platform acted quickly after launching a wide consultation with its drivers and just one month after a resounding defeat in the Supreme Court. Britain’s highest court ruled on February 19 that drivers could be considered “workers” and therefore benefit from social rights. She ruled in favor of a group of around twenty drivers who felt they were entitled to worker status, given the time spent connected to the application and the control exercised by the group, for example on their assessment.

Uber does not disclose the cost of these measures, which should weigh a little more on the fragile finances of a company not yet profitable and in a bad way with the health restrictions. But by granting the status of salaried workers, the company avoids lengthy legal proceedings. Uber is only making this move for the moment in the UK and will now look market by market at how it can evolve its model. In France, drivers are self-employed, even if in 2020 the Court of Cassation recognized a former driver as an employee.

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