Does London’s Uber operate in an ethical way? Watch

Richardson 302
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Hello,

I am studying a BA in Business Enterprise through Plymouth University, UK. As part of one of my modules (Responsible Enterprise) I have been given the task to create a report on a subject of my choice and I have decided to base it on the company Uber in London.

My current report title reads, “Does London’s Uber operate in an ethical way?"

The purpose of this report is to investigate whether Uber operates ethically relating to workers welfare, zero hour contracts and their employment status.

As part of my report I need to undertake primary research and I was wondering whether you could provide me with your thoughts on how the company runs ethically. Positive and/or negative feedback would be much appreciated.

*No personal names will be used in my report*

Any help would be much appreciated and I look forward to your reply.

Kind Regards
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University of Plymouth
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(Original post by Richardson 302)
Hello,

I am studying a BA in Business Enterprise through Plymouth University, UK. As part of one of my modules (Responsible Enterprise) I have been given the task to create a report on a subject of my choice and I have decided to base it on the company Uber in London.

My current report title reads, “Does London’s Uber operate in an ethical way?"

The purpose of this report is to investigate whether Uber operates ethically relating to workers welfare, zero hour contracts and their employment status.

As part of my report I need to undertake primary research and I was wondering whether you could provide me with your thoughts on how the company runs ethically. Positive and/or negative feedback would be much appreciated.

*No personal names will be used in my report*

Any help would be much appreciated and I look forward to your reply.

Kind Regards
Hi Richardson 302,

Interesting post! Would you be able to post some facts (with sources) about how the company treat workers? Ie zero hour contracts, etc? It may help people with their responses

- Seren, University of Plymouth Student Rep
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Richardson 302
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(Original post by University of Plymouth)Hi Richardson 302,

Interesting post! Would you be able to post some facts (with sources) about how the company treat workers? Ie zero hour contracts, etc? It may help people with their responses

- Seren, University of Plymouth Student Rep

Of course I can, so James Farrar argued in 2016 against the fact that he was an employee, expressing ‘Uber tell you that you are your own boss, but in reality I don’t control the fare.’, and Uber drivers get penalised if they take a different route and/or if their performance rating goes below 4:4. However, Ubers lawyers claim that Uber drivers are under no obligation to use its app booking service (which shows they are working for Uber), with Uber claiming that they operate using a very similar ‘business model’ as local taxi firms the only difference been that they have enforced the use of modern technology. Who is in the right?
BBC News (2017) Uber is not part of the gig economy, firm argues - BBC News. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41400745
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(Original post by Richardson 302)
(Original post by University of Plymouth)Hi Richardson 302,

Interesting post! Would you be able to post some facts (with sources) about how the company treat workers? Ie zero hour contracts, etc? It may help people with their responses

- Seren, University of Plymouth Student Rep

Of course I can, so James Farrar argued in 2016 against the fact that he was an employee, expressing ‘Uber tell you that you are your own boss, but in reality I don’t control the fare.’, and Uber drivers get penalised if they take a different route and/or if their performance rating goes below 4:4. However, Ubers lawyers claim that Uber drivers are under no obligation to use its app booking service (which shows they are working for Uber), with Uber claiming that they operate using a very similar ‘business model’ as local taxi firms the only difference been that they have enforced the use of modern technology. Who is in the right?
BBC News (2017) Uber is not part of the gig economy, firm argues - BBC News. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41400745
Hi Richardson 302,

It's a complicated issue - it reminds me of zero hour contracts, which are tricky in themselves. While you have the benefit of working your own hours and working as little or as often as you like, you’re still monitored by an external body and without the perks of sick pay, holiday pay etc. It’s a constant debate, and I don’t think there’ll ever be a unanimous answer.

Taking a look at this one article, it seems that Uber offers its ‘employees’ or ‘users’ little reward – they do get to use the technology, but with no choice over route or tariff, a cut taken and no opportunity to build a clientele. Judging by this, it would seem that the ball is in Uber’s favour a little bit. I think, like all zero hour contracts, this is a case of business needs over worker needs.

However, it does provide people the opportunity for employment. If people are happy with the pick up and go nature of the job, then who is to say it’s unethical?

On the other hand, If Uber do take a proportion of each fare, should they reinvest that into their drivers or into developing the software?

I think it’s a case by case thing, but I may be wrong.

- Seren, University of Plymouth Student Rep
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Vinny C
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No... but oyster cards do... try them. Clever little buggers keep track of your movements and work out the cheapest way you could have done it... and charge accordingly. If at any time... your running total exceeds your credit, they stop working.
Last edited by Vinny C; 1 week ago
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