Uber Drivers To Receive Additional Employment and Insurance-Related Protections

Thursday 7th June 2018

The Chief Executive of Uber has announced that Uber will provide their 150,000 couriers with sick pay, paternal leave and a wave of other new protections.  These new measures are intended to make drivers ‘partners’ in a business model which in the past has “focused too much on growth and not enough on the people who made the growth possible”.

Despite Uber stating that drivers would not have to pay for these benefits, there has been much criticism from unions who have stated that these benefits are just a “revamp” of Uber’s illness and injury cover which was previously offered to drivers in April 2017.  Unions have also said that Uber drivers have statutory employment rights and these offerings are merely “cosmetic benefits which can be taken away at any time”.

This announcement comes amidst Uber’s challenge of an employment tribunal decision that ruled its drivers were workers for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996, the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 and the Working Time Regulations 1998 and not self-employed.  Uber’s appeal was subsequently dismissed by the Employment Appeals Tribunal and will be heard later this year by the Court of Appeal.