Uber is right to pay its drivers the National Living Wage, a poll commissioned by the company has found, four months after the Supreme Court ruled they were workers and not independent contractors.
The vast majority (81 per cent) of 2,049 adults in the UK surveyed by YouGov on behalf of Uber said they believed that drivers for ride-sharing apps should be paid the National Living Wage, compared to 3 per cent who disagreed.
Seven in 10 (71 per cent) of those surveyed said it was fairer to treat drivers as workers, with 70 per cent agreeing that drivers should be entitled to holiday pay, while 6 per cent disagreed.
The Supreme Court ruled that Uber’s drivers were entitled to minimum legal, holiday and pension rights, ending a five-year legal battle between the company and former drivers Yaseen Aslam and James Farrar.
Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, said it “respected” the Court’s decision and was planning to consult with every active driver across the UK “to understand the changes they want to see.”
Close to three-quarters (74 per cent) of respondents said that drivers working for Uber’s rivals, including Bolt and Ola, should be treated the same in terms of the benefits they receive, regardless of the company they’re driving for. The figure rose to 81 per cent among people who described themselves as rideshare users.
Similarly, 71 per cent said the company a driver works for should make contributions to their pension, with 6 per cent disagreeing.
“It seems Uber’s done a good job in following what the ruling has said in giving us input into a pension, holiday pay and minimum wage – I’d be surprised if anyone’s not making minimum wage,” Charlie, a driver for Uber in London, said.
“It’ll be interesting to see how the other apps follow suit, because it works perfectly for me,” he told i. “I’ve noticed already there’s a little bit of extra money hitting my account each week, so what’s not to like?”
Jonathan, who has been driving for Uber in London for six and a half years, is similarly enthusiastic.
“I think they do want us to earn a reasonable amount for their time, because if drivers aren’t happy, they’ll leave,” he said.
“We’re asked regularly by them how they can improve, and that to me is a clear sign they have our interests at heart. If you see change over time, to me that’s clear evidence.”
Uber agreed to recognise a trade union for the first time last week, meaning union GMB will have the power to represent its drivers in the UK in pay discussions and terms of work negotiations.