and it’s only a matter of time before other countries start to follow.
In a landmark case in the UK, Uber drivers are now considered employees.
User /u/atohitotsu from reddit has written up the reasons why they were considered to be employees.
- Uber has sole and absolute discretion to accept or decline bookings,
- Uber interviews and recruits drivers,
- Uber controls key information – passenger contact details and destination in particular. Drivers can’t access such information and don’t even know where they are going until the trip starts.
- Uber requires drivers to accept trips assigned to them,
- Uber sets the default route,
- Uber fixes the fare and drivers can’t negotiate a higher fare or other terms with passengers (as an independent contractor would be able to),
- Uber imposes fixed conditions such as the type of vehicle that drivers must use and how drivers do their work,
- Uber subjects drivers to performance management and disciplinary procedures,
- Uber determines issues such as rebates without involving the driver,
- The discontinued guaranteed earnings scheme (fixed pay being a characteristic of employees),
- Uber takes on risk of loss such as in the case of fraudulent passengers,
- Uber (not the drivers) handles complaints by passengers, including complaints about drivers,
- Uber can amend the drivers’ terms unilaterally,
- Forbidding drivers from contacting passengers after rides (someone running a business would normally be able to contact his clients),
- Using terms like “on-duty” and “off-duty” and referring to “our drivers” and “our vehicles”.
The full judgment is here. Time will tell if/when other countries and states start to follow and if/when Lyft is next.