Uber proposes California-style gig work reforms in Europe

LONDON — Uber referred to as on the European Union to introduce a framework for gig financial system employees, floating a mannequin much like that adopted by California after a contentious struggle 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 shield drivers and couriers working by an app, with out reclassifying them as workers.

It's a thorny problem for Uber and different corporations in the so-called gig financial system that encourage short-term, versatile working fashions in favor of full-time employment. Last yr, Uber, Lyft and different corporations efficiently fought in opposition to proposals in California which might have given their drivers the standing of workers relatively than unbiased contractors.

Californian voters permitted Proposition 22, a measure that may permit drivers for app-based transportation and supply corporations to be categorised as unbiased contractors whereas nonetheless entitling them to new advantages like minimal earnings and automobile insurance coverage.

"We're calling on policymakers, other platforms and social representatives to move quickly to build a framework for flexible earning opportunities, with industry-wide standards that all platform companies must provide for independent workers," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi mentioned in a weblog put up Monday. 

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"This could include introducing new laws such as the legislation recently enacted in California," he added.

Uber mentioned the EU might alternatively set new ideas by a "European model of social dialogue" between platform employees, coverage makers and business representatives.

'Third means'

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

Uber envisions a "third way" for gig financial system employment standing that gives drivers some protections whereas nonetheless permitting them flexibility of contract work. In the U.S., the agency advised advantages funds that can be utilized by employees for issues like medical insurance and paid time without work.

The firm's European white paper calls for brand spanking new guidelines that embody an "industry-wide level playing field" and units a "consistent earnings baseline" for employees throughout totally different platforms.

The transfer comes forward of a overview from the European Commission 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 companies have been severely impacted by coronavirus lockdowns in Europe. Companies like Uber and Deliveroo confronted criticism for failing to offer drivers with a security web through the pandemic.

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

It's not the primary time Uber has confronted scrutiny in Europe. In 2017, the European Court of Justice dealt Uber a serious setback by ruling it was a transportation agency relatively than a digital firm, paving the way in which for stricter regulation of the agency. And London twice banned the app from working in the U.Okay. capital over security issues. Uber was issued a short lived London license in September.

based mostly on web site supplies www.cnbc.com

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