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To be glad that Uber will not have to pay NMW and holiday pay?

(137 Posts)
Twogoats Fri 28-Oct-16 14:40:59

Even though they plan to appeal?

This could be the start of a slippery slope. If we let one company call their employees 'self-employed', then it could snowball into other industries. I am no fan of Uber, but if they are going to exist, then they should be fair.

Shallishanti Fri 28-Oct-16 14:43:59

confusing thread title, OP!
But yes I agree with you

kirinm Fri 28-Oct-16 14:44:21

The construction industry does this a lot. I think it was fairly recently that labourers had to be employed (presuming there are particular rules about that and it is unlikely to apply to all companies but I don't know much about it).

It's good news. Too many companies take their staff for granted and try and avoid employment laws by calling them self-employed when they aren't.

Twogoats Fri 28-Oct-16 14:50:05

Oh noes! Got my title wrong! I meant I am glad that they WILL have to pay!

Me2017 Fri 28-Oct-16 15:25:13

It will be appealed so we have not heard the last of it.

English law is so unclear on who is an employee and who is not. Presumably everyone would agree I am not an employee but even I am not always sure.

Chikara Fri 28-Oct-16 15:59:41

Tricky one though. A lot of employes exploit the low paid - especially in the caring professions BUT the flip side is you, as an employer, can find yourself in all sorts of trouble if a freelancer is suddenly deemed to be an employee.

Not a clear cut system but overall YANBU - companies who take the piss like this should be stopped.

specialsubject Fri 28-Oct-16 16:32:17

There is a perfectly clear definition of self employment in English law, and it things like more than one client and being able to pick when you work .

Companies that fake around this should be stopped. I am not clear if uber are doing it.

LurkingHusband Fri 28-Oct-16 16:36:14

next stop: AirBnB ?

QuiteLikely5 Fri 28-Oct-16 16:38:45

David Cameron is Godfather to the children of the guy who owns über - very interesting to see that the unions have paid to fight this. wink

SparklyLeprechaun Fri 28-Oct-16 16:39:51

Tbh, I'm not sure at all if it's a good thing in this case. There is probably more to it than I realise, but to me it looks like the drivers use their own cars, get money from the clients and pay Uber a fee for finding the clients. I can't see how they can be anything but self employed. Plenty of companies abuse the self-employed status, but I'm not sure where Uber is going wrong.

LurkingHusband Fri 28-Oct-16 16:45:24

What's HMRCs take on this ? They are usually super-hot on sniffing out disguised employment.

I wonder if there's an issue because Uber aren't acting as an "introduction" between customer and driver, but as the managing agent ?

Shiningexample Fri 28-Oct-16 16:55:09

I understand that Uber has a fair bit of control over how the drivers work, how much work they receive, they have to accept a certain number of jobs or they are penalized...something like that.
Anyway my impression is that uber were trying to have and eat the proverbial cake and this ruling is the right one.

be interesting to see the knock on effect on other 'platforms' /gig economy etc....

LurkingHusband Fri 28-Oct-16 16:59:06

The judge has ripped Uber a new one:

Any organisation (a) running an enterprise at the heart of which is the function of carrying people in motor cars from where they are to where they want to be and (b) operating in part through a company discharging the regulated responsibilities of a [private hire vehicle] operator, but (c) requiring drivers and passengers to agree, as a matter of contract, that it does not provide transportation services (through UBV [Uber's Dutch holding company] or Uber London Limited, and (d) resorting in its documentation to fictions, twisted language and even brand new terminology, merits, we think, a degree of scepticism... We cannot help being reminded of Queen Gertrude's most celebrated line: The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Peregrina Fri 28-Oct-16 17:08:44

Good. I hope it kills this bogus 'self-employment' off, and that firms have to start paying decent wages and sick pay etc.

Shiningexample Fri 28-Oct-16 17:09:06

imo they had it coming
it's obvious that platforms are able to exploit and leverage the benefits of network effects...letting people do the actual work for a low rate (or nothing) and using algorithms to siphon the profits off for themselves

some big players will no doubt be getting a bit nervous....grin

mochaccinoCake Fri 28-Oct-16 17:10:10

why AirBnB?

Genuine question, the only places I rented with the were actual BnB, just advertised on different sites.

Shiningexample Fri 28-Oct-16 17:10:57

I wonder if mumsnet will soon be paying us for all the value we've added to the company with all these posts

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Fri 28-Oct-16 17:12:27

The 'self employed' loophole is being exploited by a lot of companies these days.
In the construction industry this is rife, as someone mentioned, hardly any of these companies want to take anyone onto the books.

It's similar to the ridiculous 0 hour contracts being offered. The government are happy for it to go on because employment statistics are up. You can be classed as working yet not actually have any work. It's a joke.

Peregrina Fri 28-Oct-16 17:13:50

But MN isn't pretending that we are self-employed journalists, is it? It knows we are just random people sounding off on the Internet

plominoagain Fri 28-Oct-16 17:13:57

I'd like HMRC to look at certain courier firms too , like a particular firm subcontracted to deliver for Amazon , which makes all their drivers self employed , yet insists they have to use a particular firm of accountants , who pay them through an umbrella company , yet decrees that they must work 6 days a week , doing 80-90 hour weeks for what works out about £35 a day after the hire of the van , and not paying the fuel costs fully either . And keeping the last weeks wages and expenses for every driver by claiming the van is damaged . Utter con artists .

specialsubject Fri 28-Oct-16 17:15:59

If mn is paying for posts then where is mine? smile

Good for the judge. Subtext ' pull the other one'.

Peregrina Fri 28-Oct-16 17:16:07

The trouble with all this is that HMRC has been cut back so they haven't got the staff to enforce the rules (I used to work for them and go round checking on this, some years ago.)

Peregrina Fri 28-Oct-16 17:18:46

Good for the drivers who were prepared to take the case to court too.

chilipepper20 Fri 28-Oct-16 17:19:27

Good. I hope it kills this bogus 'self-employment' off, and that firms have to start paying decent wages and sick pay etc.

likely, though, is not that uber will just pay everyone currently employed a fat wage, but get rid of a large percentage of workers.

Is that a good thing?

Shiningexample Fri 28-Oct-16 17:20:26

But MN isn't pretending that we are self-employed journalists, is it?
no but this ruling focuses attention on platforms in general where the work is done by the people using the platform and the owners are able to profit from that work because they have control of the network.

I'm not suggesting that forums will be directly affected by the ruling but it may lead to a shift in public opinion when it comes to digital platforms

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