Alan McCormack | Senior Associate

Welcome to the ‘Uber Files’

App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) call for 24 hour strike in response to recent landmark Supreme Court Ruling.

In early July 2022, a leak of files relating to Uber exposed a number of alleged matters of concern regarding the company’s working practices. On the 17th July 2022, Uber customers were invited to unite and boycott the service for 24 hours. Uber users have alternatively been urged join a demonstration taking place at the company’s HQ in London aimed at improving the rights and working conditions of Uber drivers.

Over 120,000 files were leaked. They allegedly exposed legal breaches by Uber, as well as inappropriate worldwide lobbying by the company of senior government officials.  

The App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) has urged Uber to respond and take action following the recent  Supreme Court ruling which involved paying drivers at least the minimum wage after costs for all working time from log on to log off. A 24 hour strike has subsequently been announced, intended to encourage Uber to implement this ruling.  ADCU believed working conditions are sufficiently bad that drivers have “no choice but to strike and take to the streets.”

The recent Supreme Court ruling concluded that drivers should be identified as workers instead of self-employed. They should therefore be entitled to fundamental rights such as minimum wage and holiday pay. ADCU has stated that Uber calculates drivers working hours from the time of dispatch to arrival at destination. At present, Uber refuse to take into account and pay for any drivers waiting time.

In 2011, HMRC set a reimbursement rate of 45p per mile, and this remains the case. However, with inflation on the rise and the cost of fuel soaring, it is urged this is now outmoded and unrealistic. Uber has been urged to increase fares to £2.50 a mile and 20p a minute, including Uber commission, to be capped at 15%.

With over 70,000 Uber drivers operating in the UK alone, it is argued that Uber must make positive changes to improve its policies and the working conditions of its drivers. Whilst the situation remains as it is, doubtless fierce arguments will continue to rage. We therefore watch with interest as this story evolves.

Alan McCormack

Alan McCormack

Employment Law Team

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