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rated:
I thought I'd post this in case anyone is interested. 
Obviously the ruling affects the UK only. 
Plus, Uber will be lodging an appeal.

----
"Uber drivers are not self-employed and should be paid the “national living wage”, a UK employment court has ruled in a landmark case which could affect tens of thousands of workers in the gig economy.
The ride-hailing app could now be open to claims from all of its 40,000 drivers in the UK, who are currently not entitled to holiday pay, pensions or other workers’ rights.
Uber immediately said it would appeal against the ruling.
Employment experts said other firms with large self-employed workforces could now face scrutiny of their working practices and the UK’s biggest union, Unite, announced it was setting up a new unit to pursue cases of bogus self-employment.
Research by Citizens Advice has suggested that as many as 460,000 people could be falsely classified as self-employed, costing up to £314m a year in lost tax and employer national insurance contributions."
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/28/uber-uk-tribunal-self-employed-status

"Uber may have to grant its drivers basic employment rights such as the National Minimum Wage and holiday pay after it lost a London tribunal over the treatment of its drivers. 
The ride-hailing app has vowed to appeal the decision, which threatens to destabilise the company's business model. 
The case was brought by the GMB trade union following claims that Uber had disregarded its drivers' basic employment rights."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/10/28/uber-awaits-major-tribunal-decision-over-drivers-working-rights/

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Dang

rufflesinc (Nov. 05, 2016 @ 5:52p) |

What greater good is being served here?  A willing company is providing the infrastructure to allow willing laborers to ... (more)

IMBoring25 (Nov. 06, 2016 @ 8:44a) |

That's why there's specific definitions of full-time and part-time employment.

rufflesinc (Nov. 06, 2016 @ 11:32a) |

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Will drivers make less money now due to the lost tax benefits of being self employed?

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Don't you have to work full time to accumulate vacation pay?

I thought Uber was losing money. How would they survive if they had to pay benefits too?

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matrix5k said:   I thought Uber was losing money. How would they survive if they had to pay benefits too?
  That may very well be one of two end goals,    protect the established industries and generate as much tax revenue as possible.

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matrix5k said:   
I thought Uber was losing money. 

  so much that they are only valued at 60 billion!

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And in unrelated news, Uber starts pulling out of the UK completely immediately. I don't think their business model works if they have to assume the liability and cost of full time employees. This is what liberals (a lot like the one who is probably going to give me red who's already posted here) don't understand.  They assume that if the cost of goods sold goes higher, it happens in a vacuum.

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mwa423 said:   And in unrelated news, Uber starts pulling out of the UK completely immediately. I don't think their business model works if they have to assume the liability and cost of full time employees.
  uber drivers don't get to set their rates. 
 They assume that if the cost of goods sold goes higher, it happens in a vacuum.
the uber end price would then rise

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AceroSBU said:   
matrix5k said:   I thought Uber was losing money. How would they survive if they had to pay benefits too?
  That may very well be one of two end goals,    protect the established industries and generate as much tax revenue as possible.

 Pretty much. Uber has a big Target on its forehead due to lack of taxes paid. 

This is basically another democrat vs republican issue. Do you go for the bloated system, that collects more government revenue, and provides more regulations, or do you let the free market decide? Obviously, not everyone votes in the best interests of the greater good, usually what is near and dear to them. One thing I can say for sure, the Taxi system is absolutely horrendous.

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InFlamed said:   
AceroSBU said:   
matrix5k said:   I thought Uber was losing money. How would they survive if they had to pay benefits too?
  That may very well be one of two end goals,    protect the established industries and generate as much tax revenue as possible.

 Pretty much. Uber has a big Target on its forehead due to lack of taxes paid. 

This is basically another democrat vs republican issue. Do you go for the bloated system, that collects more government revenue, and provides more regulations, or do you let the free market decide? 

You can conflating paying taxes with more regulation. and then politicizing it when it's not a political issue
Obviously, not everyone votes in the best interests of the greater good, usually what is near and dear to them. One thing I can say for sure, the Taxi system is absolutely horrendous.
Strange, you'd think the greater good here would be in favor of the uber drivers and not simply lower uber rates for yourself

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Drivers do enter into it willingly. It more or less proves that the market wage for driving for hire is less than that implied by regulated taxis. But that's probably true for a lot of jobs that pay minimum wage already.

There's no reason Uber couldn't just raise their prices and follow employment law. The secret sauce is really in the dispatching and sharing algos. Not so much the rates. They're already unsustainably low just to drive Lyft and taxis out of business.

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One of the issues with this is that a driver could be logged in to Uber, Lyft, etc all at the same time. If this ruling stands, that would mean in theory all of these companies would have to pay the same person minimum wage which just isn't a viable solution.

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peps2004 said:   One of the issues with this is that a driver could be logged in to Uber, Lyft, etc all at the same time. If this ruling stands, that would mean in theory all of these companies would have to pay the same person minimum wage which just isn't a viable solution.
  Welcome to a shared economy model, they share the same driver for same price 

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Im not sure how Uber works here in the US but Uber cannot force you to work certain hours a week/month etc...if they do, then the drivers are considered employees.

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peps2004 said:   One of the issues with this is that a driver could be logged in to Uber, Lyft, etc all at the same time. If this ruling stands, that would mean in theory all of these companies would have to pay the same person minimum wage which just isn't a viable solution.
  interesting parallel to how many retail jobs don't have a consistent schedule (last minute ,on demand scheduling) so the employee is on call, unpaid

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So they could comply and pay minimum wage for all hours on call, then just fire anyone whose actual billings aren't enough to cover it. I doubt it's the hourly minimum they care about but having to comply with employment law in zillions of countries would be a deal killer.

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Uber is yet another form of the sharing con. To understand that you have been duped takes some time for most believing uber's corporate propaganda. 55% quit after 12 months. Another 25% after 24.

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lizardbrn said:   Uber is yet another form of the sharing con. To understand that you have been duped takes some time for most believing uber's corporate propaganda. 55% quit after 12 months. Another 25% after 24.
  Agree. It's a poor deal unless you only drive at 2am surge or don't have to pay your own car expenses.

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So what stops an Uber driver from being "active" for 8 hours a day, but not taking any rides? Wouldn't they be required to be paid minimum wage for those 8 hours?

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vnuts21 said:   So what stops an Uber driver from being "active" for 8 hours a day, but not taking any rides? Wouldn't they be required to be paid minimum wage for those 8 hours?
same thing that keeps you from surfing fwf for 8 hours

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rufflesinc said:   
vnuts21 said:   So what stops an Uber driver from being "active" for 8 hours a day, but not taking any rides? Wouldn't they be required to be paid minimum wage for those 8 hours?
same thing that keeps you from surfing fwf for 8 hours

  So.... nothing?

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And that's really not true. To run Uber, I don't need to do anything other than have my phone running. I could do my professional job, meanwhile have Uber running and just not take any fares, and be paid for being an Uber driver at the same time.

Or, I can be an Uber driver on my way to/from work and be paid during my commute.

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vnuts21 said:   
rufflesinc said:   
vnuts21 said:   So what stops an Uber driver from being "active" for 8 hours a day, but not taking any rides? Wouldn't they be required to be paid minimum wage for those 8 hours?
same thing that keeps you from surfing fwf for 8 hours

  So.... nothing?

  so you can do nothing work related for a year and keep your job? Please tell us what job !!
 To run Uber, I don't need to do anything other than have my phone running. I could do my professional job, meanwhile have Uber running and just not take any fares, and be paid for being an Uber driver at the same time. 

Or, I can be an Uber driver on my way to/from work and be paid during my commute.

It's blanatly obvious that any employer including uber would just fire you after a while

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TravelerMSY said:   The secret sauce is really in the dispatching and sharing algos. 
  I thought when you request a ride, they just ask every driver in the area and the first to accept comes get you? They don't even schedule in advance!

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vnuts21 said:   So what stops an Uber driver from being "active" for 8 hours a day, but not taking any rides? Wouldn't they be required to be paid minimum wage for those 8 hours?

Although probably not going to happen in the U.S., if Uber is actually an employer, then they would fire the employee for poor work performance. The Uber driver would then file for state unemployment insurance, which would then be charged against Uber's account. Uber could try fighting these claims. This would open up a whole can of worms, going against all of Uber's business model.

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I don't know about the taxi business in all of the UK, but the taxi business in London is nothing like the taxi business is here. The requirements for becoming a taxi driver there are very onerous (even more so than the difficult cities here). The drivers essentially have to know the whole city like the back of their hand without any maps or phones or gps and have to pass a test proving that they do. A ruling like this is should be no surprise to uber. They knew the roadblocks they would run into when trying to disrupt such established professions and unions. I'm sure they're happy the gravy train has lasted as long as it has.

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I wonder what this ruling actually means to Uber in London?

Seems the UK "national living wage" is basically just the minimum wage. Looks like its about 9£/hr. I'd be surprised if Uber drivers normally make under that in London. One source estimates drivers make 36£ average in London. ( http://www.idrivewithuber.com/how-much-do-uber-drivers-make-in-l...

I'm sure the other costs like employment taxes and benefits would add up in UK. I'd think thats the real impact of the ruling financially.

Looks like Uber undercuts typical London cabs by ~20%. I doubt Uber will just abandon the market or jack up the prices drastically.
Uber could simply change the fee structure and take the additional costs out of the driver compensation. Or they could increase prices some to pay the benefits. Or they could do a combination of the 2.

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rufflesinc said:   
peps2004 said:   One of the issues with this is that a driver could be logged in to Uber, Lyft, etc all at the same time. If this ruling stands, that would mean in theory all of these companies would have to pay the same person minimum wage which just isn't a viable solution.
  interesting parallel to how many retail jobs don't have a consistent schedule (last minute ,on demand scheduling) so the employee is on call, unpaid

  

What retailer are you working for?  When I worked retail, we had our lives scheduled 3 weeks in advance.  Sure, they might call you to come in when someone calls out, but its your choice to say yes or no.

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vnuts21 said:   So what stops an Uber driver from being "active" for 8 hours a day, but not taking any rides? Wouldn't they be required to be paid minimum wage for those 8 hours?
  No. Only when you're actively driving for them. ie picking up or transporting passengers.

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TravelerMSY said:   Drivers do enter into it willingly. It more or less proves that the market wage for driving for hire is less than that implied by regulated taxis. But that's probably true for a lot of jobs that pay minimum wage already.

There's no reason Uber couldn't just raise their prices and follow employment law. The secret sauce is really in the dispatching and sharing algos. Not so much the rates. They're already unsustainably low just to drive Lyft and taxis out of business.

  
I will agree with you on the rate being too low.

My last Uber ride was in Brussels in a fairly new C-class Mercedes. The ride was just over 6 miles, but lasted 1 hour 11 minutes. I was charged 27 euros for this trip. Maintaining a C-class Mercedes, especially in Brussels is not cheap. That stop and go traffic is not easy on the car. Furthermore, even a Diesel will get pretty poor mileage in that type of traffic, and Diesel costs over $5 a gallon. I can't imagine the drive making very much money on that trip. 

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As a customer Uber is incredibly convenient.

As someone running another business it's very annoying how they can flagrantly break employment law by being big enough with powerful enough investors. But that's true for many aspects of the big vs small businesses and you learn to get over it.

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nasheedb said:   
The ride was just over 6 miles, but lasted 1 hour 11 minutes. 

  Dang

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rufflesinc said:   You can conflating paying taxes with more regulation. and then politicizing it when it's not a political issue
 

  
As the government gets its tendrils into more things, it's hard to find things that aren't intrinsically political.  This isn't all about taxation.  Taxation is secondary to regulation in this story.
rufflesinc said:   Strange, you'd think the greater good here would be in favor of the uber drivers and not simply lower uber rates for yourself
 


What greater good is being served here?  A willing company is providing the infrastructure to allow willing laborers to provide service to willing customers.  No one is being coerced and most drivers do not work full-time or as their only employment (or for very long, for that matter).  Forcing this model into the "living wage" precept completely ignores the fundamental nature of the business model.  Aggressively enforcing liability insurance laws to ensure somebody a driver mows down doesn't get left in the lurch because the driver's insurance doesn't cover commercial use?  That's a greater good.  Forcing the living wage precept on a business model that is fundamentally not a single-source-of-income full-time job is just a sop to the Taxis.

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IMBoring25 said:   
 
What greater good is being served here?  A willing company is providing the infrastructure to allow willing laborers to provide service to willing customers.  No one is being coerced and most drivers do not work full-time or as their only employment (or for very long, for that matter).  Forcing this model into the "living wage" precept completely ignores the fundamental nature of the business model.  Aggressively enforcing liability insurance laws to ensure somebody a driver mows down doesn't get left in the lurch because the driver's insurance doesn't cover commercial use?  That's a greater good.  Forcing the living wage precept on a business model that is fundamentally not a single-source-of-income full-time job is just a sop to the Taxis.

  That's why there's specific definitions of full-time and part-time employment.

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