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Bad News for Uber: Good News for Their Drivers

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by exchemist, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    I was delighted to read this today: Uber drivers are workers not self-employed, Supreme Court rules

    So Uber drivers are now employees, not self employed and are now covered by laws on minimum wage, holiday and sick leave, etc.

    This will have far-reaching consequences for the “gig” economy, I think, and a good job too.
    It’s a scandal the way some of these organisations slough off their responsibilities by this fiction of making employees into self-employed. There is a piece in the latest Private Eye about some guy who signed up as a driver for a parcels delivery group, to find he was classed as self-employed, so no minimum wage, sick leave, holidays etc. He had to rent the van from a leasing company and pay a set insurance premium against damage (some damage is common for people who drive 50,000 miles a year), with a £2,500 excess, meaning that if you have a scrape you have to pay it yourself, out of your derisory earnings after paying for van rental etc. Atrocious - and this sort of thing applies to an increasing numbers of people nowadays.

    This landmark judgement will make it harder for these sorts of scammy and oppressive employment practices to be sustained.
     
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  2. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    Only in the UK though.
     
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  3. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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  4. pearl

    pearl Well-Known Member

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    Many years ago my daughter took a job delivering newspapers, something she could do in the early morning hours while her husband was still home with the baby. The carriers were considered 'self employed'. She did this for a couple of years about 15 years ago. A few years ago she was notified of a class action suit which included her and received a 7,000 payment.
     
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  5. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    As it was a supreme court Judgement it can only be changed by a change in the law. Though the Tories have the votes to do that. I doubt that they have the will to do so.
     
  6. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Good for the Supreme Court. And a conservative Supreme Court. I never like it when businesses try to claim that employees are self employed to get out of taxes and to limit the rights of workers.
     
  7. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Bummer:( When I see Supreme Court I automatically think of the SCOTUS. Y'alls got to get your own name for that court:mad:
     
  8. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Well, this judgement sets a precedent that can be referenced in similar future cases. Any employer not wanting to risk that is going to have to adapt his contractual practices. I note that the two plaintiffs were representatives of a new trade union, representing gig workers. I would assume they could bring similar actions on behalf of other people, with every prospect of success.
     
  9. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    I agree. It used to be called the Law Lords until Tony Blair thought it would be hip and trendy to ape the USA.:rolleyes:
     
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  10. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    If there was a class action, I assume she wasn't just doing this for the local newsagent on the corner, then.;)
     
  11. pearl

    pearl Well-Known Member

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    Right. But she loved it, a country route, the quietness of the early morning hours plus great tips.
     
  12. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    In the good old days, before we are all so scared of paedos, the local schoolboys and girls did a "paper round" for the local newsagent before school, just for pocket money.
     
  13. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    I thought that you were kidding at first. Since your nation has existed just a little bit longer than ours has I assumed that we copied you. I was surprised to see that my joke was not a joke after all

    Supreme Court of the United Kingdom - Wikipedia
     
  14. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Yup. It's all Tony Blair's fault.
     
  15. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    I'm part of the gig economy as well. I do agree its really a scam more than a legitimate way to make a living. No actual independent contractor would ever settle for the pittance they pay people for working those gigs.
     
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  16. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Well you will know, then. Basically, employment law, just like business taxation, has not caught up with the IT revolution. Us consumers benefit from low prices, but the result is people are trapped in poverty without us realising. If we all have a pay a bit more for our Amazon deliveries and cab rides, then we should do so.

    There was a letter in the Financial Times today from the CEO of a Dutch company that delivers food, saying they have decided to make their 10,000 workers employees and that if they can do that and make a viable business, so can everyone else.

    It's quite interesting that the Financial Times has a lot of contributions from business people that do not fit the stereotype of the grasping top-hatted capitalist, whether it be on things like this (employment standards) or on measures to mitigate climate change.
     
  17. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    Believe it or not, a lot of workers, particularly the younger generation, actually LIKE being independent contractors and the flexibility it provides. Who says government should get to interfere with those workers’ desire to be contractors? Now they don’t have that option. Why? Because Big Brother said so.
     
  18. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    The government has said nothing. A private civil court case decided the issue at the highest possible level. Both sides must have spent millions to take it so far.
    The government could have changed the law at any time, but chose not to get involved.
     
  19. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    True, there are some that like it. That is always the argument these businesses are keen to make.

    But it is a self-serving argument: this number is dwarfed by those for whom the conditions are oppressive. As that Dutch CEO I mentioned points out, he has no trouble getting people to work in his organisation on the basis of being employees with a salary, statutory holidays, sick pay etc. He does not find them clamouring to be self-employed instead.

    Ask @Twilight Hue what he thinks.
     
  20. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    Those that like flexible hours can still do that as employees. It depends entirely on the contract of employment that you agree. The problem was that their employment conditions were imposed by Uber.
     
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