Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Uber loses appeal in UK employment rights case Watch

    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Trinculo)
    There's also this strange notion that Uber is somehow the bad guy in all this. Prior to Uber, many of these people weren't drivers - and those that were opted to become Uber drivers because the terms were better than those they had at minicab firms. Those that weren't drivers chose to become drivers rather than whatever other jobs they had - or as well as. It's exactly the flexibility and choice that makes Uber drivers obviously not employees that they like about it. These are worker-led zero hours contracts. The elephant in the room is that the workers want it. They don't want to be employees on minimum wage being told when and where to work and how long for.
    I get all that. But can you remember the backlash against Starbucks for paying no tax in the UK? What they did was perfectly legal, but morally at odds.

    Any business that employs someone has to pay minimum wage and give holiday pay and sick pay by law. Uber doesn't do any of that. So where as you could argue that Uber are creating jobs, those working for Uber are not necessarily getting the minimum wage and they are certainly not getting sick pay or holiday pay. It is therefore a race to the bottom. What is to stop you from being made redundant by your employer, but then offered a contract to work for them on the same pay, but if you don't turn up to work, you get nothing and if you get ill, you are screwed.

    If you were to remove employment law, I have no doubt that everyone would end up with a job. Once again, people would be paid to press the button in lifts, people would be paid to open the door for shoppers etc etc. But they would only be paid a pittance for their labour. That is not what this country is about.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Bornblue)
    There's a big 'Uber' sign on their cars. Their pricing is set by Uber. Uber take a sizeable portion of each fare.

    The idea that Uber drivers are self-employed and not working for Uber is, to say the least, bizarre.
    I have taken maybe 50-60 Ubers in the last year - at least one a week. I have never been in one with an Uber sign on it.

    Pricing being set by Uber is not a measure of employment. Black Cabs have their pricing set by TfL - they're still self-employed.

    Uber taking a portion of the fare is irrelevant. If a self-employed person works a sub-contract in most industries - they don't usually get paid any of the contract - they usually get an agreed fee from the contractor.

    The main tests of employment are supposed to be mutuality and control. Uber drivers don't have mutuality or any high degree of control. They can work whenever they like and pick and choose their rides.

    If you accept that Uber drivers are employed, rather than self-employed (or are "workers" rather than self-employed) then it's very difficult to think of many people who are self-employed under those same measures.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Notorious_B.I.G.)
    Thankfully, the very clever person who wrote the decision addresses this point. Uber's practices are distinguished from the mandatory legal regime, i.e. that which necessarily applies to black cab operators as a minimum standard, for the reasons as follows:

    "113. [...] Although ULL, as holder of the relevant PHV operator licence, was required to hold copies of documentation relating to PHV drivers and their vehicles, there was no regulatory requirement for it to carry out the interview and induction process (“onboarding”) it chose to operate. While it was required to obtain and record passenger details, there was no regulation stopping ULL passing these on to the drivers, still less for it to stop drivers providing their contact details to passengers. Uber says these are matters of common sense, arising due to security concerns or for obvious commercial reasons (the concern about solicitation). That might be true but I cannot see that these factors - controls introduced by ULL at its choice - were thereby rendered any the less relevant. Similarly, although ULL - as the PHV operator licence holder - was required to operate a complaints procedure, it was not obliged to resolve those complaints without recourse to the drivers; again that was its choice. Yet further, there was no regulatory requirement for the guaranteed earnings scheme that had previously been in operation for new drivers, nor any obligation to indemnify drivers against fraud, nor to meet cleaning costs. And there was nothing in the regulatory regime that obliged ULL to warn drivers they should accept at least 80% of trip requests to retain their account status (as to which, see further below), to operate a ratings system (deactivating the accounts of those unable to improve poor scores), to log drivers off if they decline three trips in a row or to provide a suggested route for each trip."

    Would you believe it, no mention of TSR or Guardian commenters anywhere.
    This metric of control is no different to a person selling goods on eBay and then claiming they work for eBay, because of the degree of control exercised by eBay through the sellers site.

    If you make your living selling phone cases on eBay - nobody would believe you to "work" for eBay. Yet eBay exercises pretty much the same control as Uber.
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Trinculo)
    I have taken maybe 50-60 Ubers in the last year - at least one a week. I have never been in one with an Uber sign on it.

    Pricing being set by Uber is not a measure of employment. Black Cabs have their pricing set by TfL - they're still self-employed.

    Uber taking a portion of the fare is irrelevant. If a self-employed person works a sub-contract in most industries - they don't usually get paid any of the contract - they usually get an agreed fee from the contractor.

    The main tests of employment are supposed to be mutuality and control. Uber drivers don't have mutuality or any high degree of control. They can work whenever they like and pick and choose their rides.

    If you accept that Uber drivers are employed, rather than self-employed (or are "workers" rather than self-employed) then it's very difficult to think of many people who are self-employed under those same measures.
    Sure, price setting is not sufficient in and of itself to form an employment relationship, but it certainly is a factor in determining whether one exists.

    When you combine that with how they very much work under the guise of Uber, can be 'deactivated' or rather let go by Uber, perform tasks for Uber and pay a big portion of their fare to Uber and are told about what they are allowed to talk about with passengers, it is clear an employment relationship does exist.

    Drivers are not able to negotiate prices with passengers. It is done on Uber's terms. All things considered, that's a relationship in which Uber very much controls the working conditions.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Trinculo)
    I have taken maybe 50-60 Ubers in the last year - at least one a week. I have never been in one with an Uber sign on it.

    Pricing being set by Uber is not a measure of employment. Black Cabs have their pricing set by TfL - they're still self-employed.

    Uber taking a portion of the fare is irrelevant. If a self-employed person works a sub-contract in most industries - they don't usually get paid any of the contract - they usually get an agreed fee from the contractor.

    The main tests of employment are supposed to be mutuality and control. Uber drivers don't have mutuality or any high degree of control. They can work whenever they like and pick and choose their rides.

    If you accept that Uber drivers are employed, rather than self-employed (or are "workers" rather than self-employed) then it's very difficult to think of many people who are self-employed under those same measures.
    Display of signs indicating that the vehicle is an Uber is something controlled by the local authorities - evidently London has not been demanding this, but in some cities in the UK, it is compulsory, Birmingham for example.

    Your black cab comparisons miss the point that black cab drivers are free when to work, within reason, who to pick up and where and how long they wish to work, what routes to take. None of those things are true with Uber, which places heavy pressure on drivers to only do as Uber tells them to the letter. Uber drivers are punished by withdrawal of work if they do not perform. That can never happen to a black cab driver, other than in extreme circumstances such as illegality.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Bornblue)
    There's a big 'Uber' sign on their cars. Their pricing is set by Uber. Uber take a sizeable portion of each fare.

    The idea that Uber drivers are self-employed and not working for Uber is, to say the least, bizarre.
    That is precisely not the reason for the decision.

    Most provincial minicab drivers are required to display the name of the operator for whom they provide self-employed services.They have to charge the fees set by the operator and registered with the council and usually the operator takes a percentage of the ride fee or a flat fee per week.

    The key to the decision is the control that Uber imposes beyond what is required to be imposed.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Trinculo)
    This metric of control is no different to a person selling goods on eBay and then claiming they work for eBay, because of the degree of control exercised by eBay through the sellers site.

    If you make your living selling phone cases on eBay - nobody would believe you to "work" for eBay. Yet eBay exercises pretty much the same control as Uber.
    Here is a business that sells phone cases on ebay

    http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Argos?keywo...rder=BestMatch

    Does ebay restrict their ability to contact customers outside ebay? Does ebay prevent them from selling phone cases except through ebay?
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Did TEF Bronze Award affect your UCAS choices?
    Useful resources
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.