Home Business Uber proposes California-style gig work reforms in Europe

Uber proposes California-style gig work reforms in Europe

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi speaks at a product launch occasion in San Francisco, California on September 26, 2019.

Philip Pacheco | AFP by way of Getty Photographs

LONDON — Uber referred to as on the European Union to introduce a framework for gig financial system employees, floating a mannequin just like that adopted by California after a contentious fight over the employment standing of its drivers.

The U.S. ride-hailing big shared a “white paper” with EU competitors chief Margrethe Vestager, jobs commissioner Nicolas Schmit and different officers. It urged policymakers to implement reforms that defend drivers and couriers working via an app, with out reclassifying them as staff.

It is a thorny problem for Uber and different firms within the so-called gig financial system that encourage short-term, versatile working fashions in favor of full-time employment. Final 12 months, Uber, Lyft and different corporations efficiently fought in opposition to proposals in California which might have given their drivers the standing of staff relatively than impartial contractors.

Californian voters approved Proposition 22, a measure that might enable drivers for app-based transportation and supply firms to be categorized as impartial contractors whereas nonetheless entitling them to new advantages like minimal earnings and automobile insurance coverage.

“We’re calling on policymakers, different platforms and social representatives to maneuver shortly to construct a framework for versatile incomes alternatives, with industry-wide requirements that each one platform firms should present for impartial employees,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi mentioned in a weblog put up Monday. 

“This might embody introducing new legal guidelines such because the laws just lately enacted in California,” he added.

Uber mentioned the EU might alternatively set new rules via a “European mannequin of social dialogue” between platform employees, coverage makers and {industry} representatives.

‘Third manner’

Uber has warned that, by treating its drivers as staff, authorities would give the agency no alternative however to extend prices — and that these prices can be handed right down to prospects.

Uber envisions a “third way” for gig financial system employment standing that provides drivers some protections whereas nonetheless permitting them flexibility of contract work. Within the U.S., the agency prompt advantages funds that can be utilized by employees for issues like medical insurance and paid day off.

The corporate’s European white paper calls for brand new guidelines that embody an “industry-wide stage taking part in area” and units a “constant earnings baseline” for employees throughout totally different platforms.

The transfer comes forward of a overview from the European Fee on Feb. 24, which goals to put the groundwork for regulation of gig financial system platforms.

It additionally arrives at a time when meals supply is booming whereas taxi-hailing providers have been severely impacted by coronavirus lockdowns in Europe. Firms like Uber and Deliveroo faced criticism for failing to offer drivers with a security web in the course of the pandemic.

In the meantime, drivers are making calls for of their very own on Uber’s enterprise practices throughout Europe. Within the U.Okay., the Supreme Court docket is about to ship a ruling on whether or not Uber’s drivers needs to be categorized as employees entitled to protections like a minimal wage and vacation pay. Elsewhere, Uber drivers within the Netherlands are demanding the corporate reveals how its algorithms handle their work.

It isn’t the primary time Uber has confronted scrutiny in Europe. In 2017, the European Court docket of Justice dealt Uber a significant setback by ruling it was a transportation agency relatively than a digital firm, paving the best way for stricter regulation of the agency. And London twice banned the app from working within the U.Okay. capital over security issues. Uber was issued a temporary London license in September.

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