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Uber calls on rivals to grant workers greater benefits in the UK

Uber benefits

Ride-hailing platform Uber has issued a statement calling on its rivals operating in the UK to give employees greater benefits, more than a year after a court decision made it do the same.

The company told UKTN that it is “the only major ride-hailing platform in the UK to offer drivers worker benefits”.

In its statement, Uber encouraged rival taxi services to grant drivers “a guaranteed national living wage, holiday pay, and a pension plan”.

The spokesperson from Uber told UKTN: “It is high time other operators followed suit, to ensure drivers have access to a pension and all other protections whichever platform they choose to drive on.”

Uber’s sudden demand for rivals to meet the same employment standards comes a year after the UK’s supreme court forced the firm to make the initial changes in a landmark case.

The supreme court decision was made in February 2021, and since March of that year, Uber has designated its more than 80,000 UK drivers as official workers, as opposed to ‘partners’, meaning they became entitled to the most basic, minimum standards for an employee, nine years after the company began operating in the country.

Uber has had a difficult relationship with the UK, particularly in the capital as the firm’s London operations have been the subject of continuous legal debate.

In March of this year, the company was granted a 30-month licence to continue providing its services in the city.

The statement from Uber follows the British trade union, GMB’s announcement that it will take legal action against the ride-hailing app and Uber rival Bolt. GMB is looking to secure Bolt drivers the same employee benefits that Uber was forced to give its drivers.

The union has described people working for Bolt as “being denied their worker’s right” and described the firm’s current system as a “bogus self-employment model”.

Responding to the criticism, a spokesperson from Bolt said “drivers across the UK” prefer the “existing model because it gives them the opportunity to earn more”.

The spokesperson added: “Bolt has an open dialogue with the GMB and will continue to speak with them directly.”