LONDON (Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc welcome to Monday, the British government is a response to a review in workplace rights that looks set to preserve the business models of the gig economy companies, but the unions rubbished the affairs of the ministry of planning.
The Uber app is seen on a mobile phone in London, great Britain, September 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Companies like Uber, best known for its ride-hailing service, and the food courier Deliveroo, have been criticized for the hiring of workers on a self catering basis, which means that they are not entitled to the many workplace rights, including the minimum wage.
Uber and taxi service Addison Lee have lost court battles on the issue.
A government-commissioned review looked at the issue of modern workplace practices and in response to the Monday, the business ministry said that it would arrange for the improvement of the clarity of the employment status of the tests.
The government said that the reforms reflect the assessment of the findings that a full ban on zero-hours contracts, which offer no guarantee on working hours, would have a negative impact on some people, and that the flexibility of the “gig work” was not incompatible with access to employment protection.
“We welcome more clarity from the government and look forward to working closely with them to ensure drivers can keep all the benefits that come from your own boss,” said an Uber spokeswoman. Deliveroo said that it would work with the government to ensure that the interests of the riders can be claimed.
But Britain’s biggest trade union Unite, criticized the plans of the government.
“People on zero hour contracts and workers in the uncertain economy will need much more than a weak right to a job, and more predictable hours,” said General Secretary Len McCluskey.
The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, which has won lawsuits against Uber on the rights, but recently lost to Deliveroo, was also downbeat.
“Exploited workers in this country are sick of the press releases, the rhetoric and self-congratulatory announcements from the government,” said General Secretary Jason Moyer-Lee.
As part of the plans, the british council of Conservatives will introduce legislation to repeal of the ‘Swedish derogation’, which is currently the temporary agency worker is employed on cheaper rates than the permanent counterparts by a number of companies.
Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Catherine Evans