Uber is to guarantee its 70,000 UK drivers a minimum hourly wage, holiday pay and pensions after a landmark supreme court ruling.
The ride-hailing app said drivers would start benefiting from the changes from Wednesday while retaining the right to choose when they work, as it accepted they were classed as workers in line with the ruling.
Uber, like many delivery and courier companies, has argued that its drivers are independent self-employed “partners” not entitled to basic rights enjoyed by workers, which include the legally enforceable minimum hourly wage and a workplace pension.
Last month the UK supreme court dismissed Uber’s appeal against a 2016 landmark employment tribunal ruling that its drivers should be classed as workers.
The company has previously argued that the ruling applied to only a small number involved directly in the case and that it is not obliged to apply its findings to its other drivers.
On Tuesday night the company made a dramatic U-turn, saying drivers would get at least the legal minimum wage, after expenses and holiday time at 12.07% of earnings, paid out on a fortnightly basis. They will also be automatically enrolled in a company pension plan with contributions from Uber alongside their own. Drivers will continue to have access to free insurance in case of sickness or injury as well as parental payments, which have been in place for all drivers since 2018.