UK Uber drivers will be entitled to minimum wage

Global ride-hailing giant Uber announced on March 17 that its UK drivers will become “Workers”. To pastiche an old advertisement for a non-alcoholic soda, the name of this statute sounds like the salaried, it has the color of the salaried … but it is not the salaried one as it is understood in France.

“This status is in a way a hybrid between pure self-employed workers and what is called an“ employee ”, who benefits from an employment contract like an employee, analysis Gilbert Cette, professor of economics at the University of Aix-Marseille (1). Only a few developed countries, such as the United Kingdom or Italy, have implemented such an intermediate status. ” France has so far refused to do so.

→ READ. Uber: UK Supreme Court rules that drivers can be considered employees

The roughly 70,000 drivers who work with Uber in the UK will actually earn the minimum hourly wage (€ 12.70 in London and € 11 in the rest of the country) when driving with the app. They will benefit from paid vacation and will be automatically enrolled in a retirement plan. A world first for the company.

No severance pay

These drivers will nonetheless remain self-employed with the flexibility that follows: the choice to work when they want, but also the absence of notice or severance pay in the event of termination of the collaboration. The platform had to act quickly a month after the British Supreme Court ruled that the drivers could be considered as ” workers “ and therefore benefit from the social rights associated with this status.

From the United States to Europe, and particularly in France, the economic model of the platform, and in general of what is called the “Gig economy” or “Economy to the task”, is called into question even before the courts.

Social dialogue in France

According to Uber, the English model is not intended to be modeled everywhere, even if the Californian giant claims to want to offer new social protections. The company is particularly pleased with the avenues presented by the mission that the French government has entrusted to the former HRD of Orange Bruno Mettling, in order to better structure the representation of workers and thus advance social dialogue.

→ READ. Employee or self-employed? Judges debate status of Uber drivers

“This improvement in social dialogue seems to me to be a good solution, Gilbert This believes. This is better than the track that had been mentioned in France, that of wage earners in third-party companies which, for their part, would portage for platforms. This would lose all the flexibility associated with self-employment. “

If the economist believes that it is necessary to better protect the workers of these platforms, he wishes to moderate the quantitative importance of what they represent. “They concern 100,000 people in France, or less than 0.5% of the workforce, he said. This economic model has not overwhelmed the labor market. In 36 OECD countries, self-employed status is stagnating or declining. It only progresses in the Netherlands, Great Britain and France. “


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