This follows on from the Supreme Court's recent decision confirming that Uber drivers were classed as workers.
The NLW, which is currently £8.72 per hour, will be paid to Uber drivers (after expenses are deducted). However, Uber drivers will only be paid the NLW once they have accepted a trip request. It is not clear whether this implements the Supreme Court's decision in full, given that the claimants in that case were held to be workers from the time that they logged into the app within the territory in which they worked.
The point has been taken up by the union whose members were involved in the Supreme Court case. Uber have said that their current terms and conditions are not the same as those considered by the Supreme Court (which date back to the time the claimants lodged their original claims) and this may be why the company feels it is able to pay the minimum wage from the point a driver accepts a trip request, rather than the earlier point at which they log into the app.
Whatever the position is, when an Uber driver is a worker and when they are not may be an argument that keeps rumbling on.
Uber has also announced that its drivers will:
Uber's decision to pay the minimum wage and provide certain benefits will no doubt cause all employers within the gig economy to consider how their workforce is remunerated and whether any supposedly self-employed contractors are, in fact, workers or employees.
There is also the issue of public perception, with certain major investment houses this week declining to invest in some gig economy businesses because of concerns about how their workforces are treated.
In order to avoid potential claims and disputes, our employment lawyers can make an assessment on the status of your staff and what employment rights they may have.