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UBER UPDATE


UBER AGREES TO UK’S MINIMUM WAGE POLICY WITH HOLIDAY PAY AND PENSION


Uber has announced that 70,000 of its drivers in the UK will be guaranteed a minimum wage, holiday pay, and pensions. The tech giant told its partners: “We have listened to what you told us, assessed the Supreme Court judgement, and have reached the clear conclusion that you should not have to compromise on flexibility in order to benefit from new rights and protections. So from the, 17 March 2021, we commit that every trip you complete on Uber will include: An additional payment of 12.07% of your earnings (after vehicle running costs) every two weeks, to reflect your right to paid holiday.


A guarantee that you will always earn at least the minimum wage (National Living Wage) of £8.72 per hour (after vehicle running costs) starting from the time you accept a trip on the app to the point at which the trip completes. This is a minimum amount, not a maximum, and you will continue to have the opportunity to earn more.


Uber will establish a pension scheme for all eligible drivers to be automatically enrolled into, with contributions from both Uber and drivers. This will take time to set up with the Pensions Regulator, but you will be notified once estab- lished and have the option to opt out if you choose.


The first payment for holiday pay and any necessary wage top ups will be paid on 3 May 2021. This will include pay- ments dated from 17 March 2021.


We want to reassure you that the following will remain the same: •You still have the flexibility and control over when and how you earn on the Uber app. •Upfront pricing still applies and fares will still be calculated in the same way based on the time and distance rates. •There are no changes to trip information or service fee. •You remain self-employed for tax purposes. •You still have access to benefits such as free insurance with AXA and education with The Open University through Uber Pro. •You can still drive with other operators, but we aren’t aware of others making these important changes. We hope others will follow.


We will share details over the next few days on how to express interest in a compensation payment for historical trips if you are eligible. Please note that the changes mentioned above do not apply to Uber Fleet Partners and Uber Eats Couriers. For more information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page: https://www.uber.com/en-GB/blog/driver-worker-faq. Please note that unfortunately we won’t be able to help at our Greenlight Hubs as we are following COVID guidelines at this time, so if you have any additional questions please visit the ‘Help’ section in your app.


APRIL 2021


TAXI DRIVER UNIONS PROTEST UBER’S RETURN TO BARCELONA


Hundreds of yellow and black taxis disrupted traffic in Barcelona on 18 March to protest the return of Uber to the Spanish city after a two-year hiatus. The Independent reports that Uber was driven out of Barcelona in February 2019, when regional authorities ordered that rides arranged through mobile apps had to be hired 15 minutes in advance. At the time, Uber said the requirement was “totally incompatible with the immediacy of on-demand services.” But Uber has now resumed operating in the city, allowing users to order rides from over 350 regular cabs with taxi- meters. The company said it is seeking regulatory permission to also offer fixed rates for rides, Uber’s original model. The company’s current platform in Barcelona also provides car-sharing services and displays information about public transportation, following a similar initiative in London, Paris, Lisbon and Rome, Uber said in a statement. The return has angered cab driver unions in the Catalonia region’s capital. Three columns of taxis made their way through Barcelona’s main thoroughfares on Thursday, advancing toward the seat of the regional parliament. Representatives of the Elite Taxi union called drivers who are working with Uber “traitors” and called the company’s re-entry in Barcelona illegal.


TAXI DRIVERS BLOCK INNER BRUSSELS ORBITAL RING ROAD


A group of 800 independent taxi drivers blocked part of the inner Brussels orbital ring road with their vehicles. The drivers were protesting against the decision of the Brussels government that does not permit them to pick up drivers via smartphone. The protest is an initiative of drivers with an LCV licence like Uber drivers, but also unaffiliated drivers. They number some 2,000 in Brussels. The Brussels authorities are not permitting companies that rent out cars with a driver e.g. like Uber to take orders via geopositioning on a smartphone. Independent drivers who violate the rules in Brussels could see their vehicle impounded. Drivers are supposed to agree to take a fare three hours in advance. Uber and other drivers, who do not possess an expensive taxi licence, but may have invested in their vehicle, are now unable to work as a result. The protesters are demanding a proper job status as well as a clear taxi plan for the Belgian and Flemish capital. After years of talks this has still failed to materialise.


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