Uber Grants Minimum Wage and Other Benefits to UK Workers

By McKenzie Carpenter Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Rideshare app company Uber is in the news once again regarding the status of benefits for workers in the United Kingdom (UK). Today the business revealed it would be offering minimum wage and other benefits to its drivers.

An Uber car driving through the city.

Uber’s New Benefits

It was revealed today Uber would now be granting minimum wage, holiday pay, and a pension to its UK drivers. With more than 70,000 UK drivers for the rideshare company, the app business will now give a minimum wage of £8.72 ($12.12) to employees over the age of 25 after they accept a trip request and after expenses.

The Associated Press reports Uber drivers will also receive holiday pay equal to 12% of their earnings — paid every two weeks — and both the employees and the rideshare company will pay into the pension plan. The changes do not apply to food couriers for Uber Eats.

Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive for the rideshare app business, said, “This is a significant improvement in the standard of work for UK drivers. But I know many observers won’t pat us on the back for taking this step, which comes after a five-year legal battle.”

Startup Savant reported in February that Uber would be forced to unveil new benefits after the UK Supreme Court ruled Uber drivers are workers, not independent contractors.

The app business has had other benefits, such as free insurance to cover sickness, injury, and parental payments for drivers, since 2018.

In a filing to the Securities and Exchanges Commission regarding the new benefits for the rideshare company, Regional General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe Jamie Heywood said, “This is an important day for drivers in the UK. Uber drivers will receive an earnings guarantee, holiday pay and a pension, and will retain the flexibility they currently value. Uber is just one part of a larger private-hire industry, so we hope that all other operators will join us in improving the quality of work for these important workers who are an essential part of our everyday lives.”

The two drivers who originally brought the case to the forefront said in a joint statement that Uber’s new policies have “arrived to the table with this offer a day late and a dollar short, literally,” stating the rideshare company still did not account for the time drivers are logged onto the app without driving, and the rideshare company should not decide what the costs for calculating minimum wage should be.

Other Gig Economy News

In November, California voted that drivers for the rideshare app company and other gig economy workers are exempt from having to be reclassified as employees. Last year, French courts ruled that Uber drivers are in fact employees, requiring more benefits like the ruling in the UK.

These rulings in Europe could potentially affect gig companies’ business models and require more expenses from them, as additional changes could be implemented across the industry.

About the Author

Headshot of McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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