The UK’s Supreme Court has ruled that Uber now has to classify its drivers as workers rather than self-employed contractors.
According to a report on the BBC, Uber needs to contend with the fact that (in the UK, currently) its drivers are now entitled to holiday pay and minimum wage. This ruling, incidentally, is the final round in a labour dispute that has been waged between Uber and its drivers in the UK since 2016.
The ruling will have serious implications for Uber in the UK, because it means tens of thousands of Uber drivers are now entitled to worker benefits that they wouldn’t have been if they were simply ‘gig economist workers’. It’ll be interesting to see how the ride-sharing app giant responds.
Why should we care about the UK Uber ruling?
So a ruling in the UK in favour of treating Uber drivers like employees is great for UK Uber drivers, yes? Why should we down south care?
Well, the court ruling in the UK seems to be part of a growing trend in which tech giants are finally being brought to book by the countries they operate in. Open a browser and type the words ‘Australia‘, ‘Google‘ and ‘Facebook‘ and you’re in for an eyeful.
Tech giants are currently embroiled in a war to safeguard their income against the very folk who provide their income. It may be too much to hope that South Africa’s authorities will take a leading role in levelling the playing field like Britain has just done.
But then, we can only live in hope…