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 Photos

LONDON — Uber referred to as on the European Union to introduce a framework for gig economic system staff, floating a mannequin much 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 shield drivers and couriers working by an app, with out reclassifying them as staff.

It is a thorny difficulty for Uber and different corporations within the so-called gig economic system that encourage non permanent, versatile working fashions in favor of full-time employment. Final yr, Uber, Lyft and different companies efficiently fought in opposition to proposals in California which might have given their drivers the standing of staff slightly than unbiased contractors.

Californian voters approved Proposition 22, a measure that will enable drivers for app-based transportation and supply corporations to be categorized as unbiased contractors whereas nonetheless entitling them to new advantages like minimal earnings and car 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 corporations should present for unbiased staff,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi mentioned in a weblog publish 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 ideas by a “European mannequin of social dialogue” between platform staff, coverage makers and {industry} representatives.

‘Third means’

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 could be handed right down to prospects.

Uber envisions a “third way” for gig economic system employment standing that gives drivers some protections whereas nonetheless permitting them flexibility of contract work. Within the U.S., the agency steered advantages funds that can be utilized by staff for issues like medical health insurance and paid time without work.

The corporate’s European white paper calls for brand spanking new guidelines that embody an “industry-wide degree enjoying discipline” and units a “constant earnings baseline” for staff throughout completely 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 economic 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 internet through the pandemic.

In the meantime, drivers are making calls for of their very own on Uber’s enterprise practices throughout Europe. Within the U.Ok., the Supreme Court docket is ready to ship a ruling on whether or not Uber’s drivers ought to be categorized as staff 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 is not the primary time Uber has confronted scrutiny in Europe. In 2017, the European Court docket of Justice dealt Uber a serious setback by ruling it was a transportation agency slightly 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.Ok. capital over security considerations. Uber was issued a temporary London license in September.

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