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The Gig Economy

I’ve just read this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37802386

Who’s side are people on in this case? I’m unsure, because I think there are 2 types of people who want to do work for the likes of Uber and Deliveroo. It benefits those who want to be self-employed/work part time. These kind of jobs don’t seem suitable for people who want to make a “career” out of it though, but what choices do people have?

As employees, does that not give Uber the right to contract drivers to work certain days/hours? Since 0 hour contracts are illegal(?) For some people that’s not what they want so would prefer the Self Employed contractor option surely? Is there harm in having both?
I guess as employees it means pensions also need to be provided now, as well as the other mandatory benefits.

I don’t think you are self employed in the uber case. Uber controls the price, advertising, your rating, if you get work etc. You are completely at the mercy of uber and they could change the rules at any time.

I think those companies are taking advantage of workers and the minumum wage legislation. To me, the mimumum wage is intended for permanant or least predicatable periods of work (of several months). Uber et al want people in a completely flexible manor, only paying when uber needs them, but on the minumum wage.

You couldn’t work as a web freelancer with hourly rate of a full timer, so why should a driver have to? Basically I think there should a higher minumum wage for flexible work, probably at the rate of double the minumum wage.

I think it’s another of those situations where the law is lagging severely behind reality and they’re trying to paper over the cracks using whatever inappropriate material they find lying around because politicians have very little understanding of how broken our economy is.

I don’t see anyone in the major political parties who gets that consumerism-driven capitalism based on leveraged debt has crashed into a wall and the ensuing fireball ate the future of work. If manufacturing growth caused the problem, it is unlikely to be the way out.

The information revolution has reached the end of the stage where we all seemed to be reaping the benefits, just as mechanisation forced agricultural and domestic workers into the cities to survive and crashed the price of labour. We need a fundamentally different economic model that uses the technological advances we’ve made, to have good lives while consuming less. I think free culture may turn out to have accelerated the demise of capitalism .

We seem to be facing a stark choice of forcing the wealthy to share or the poor to starve. The 0 hour workers and Uber drivers have gone first this time. The political offerings are tending towards facism or socialism because they’ve almost run out of foreigners to blame while they’ve waited for a miracle. Once the better off start to share the pain there is a chance of them funding work towards a solution.

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I pretty much agree with you. I read Hilton’s, More Human, expecting that to tackle these things, but I found, Hudson’s, Killing the Host, much better. But that’s because I think it’s finance that’s crushing us and stopping us from reaping the benefits of technology more widely.

Uber are the flag bearers of much that is wrong in our new world. Chasing hard on the heals of Facebook.

Basically, it would be better if those who create value were rewarded.

The drivers and the court, and not Uber. I do not see how it’s ever to anyone’s advantage to not get holidays and a minimum wage. The point of the rules is: workers get these things. Any way of twisting the rules so that a company can pay people less than the minimum wage is by definition a bad thing, and a hole that needs patching in the law; this has been just such a patch. Well done the court; screw you Uber, you exploitative bastards.

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The full judgement is a very good read: https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/aslam-and-farrar-v-uber-reasons-20161028.pdf
I especially liked: “Uber is no more a technology company than Yellow Cab is a technology company because it uses CB radios to dispatch taxi cabs.”

Some small findings of fact :wink: They weren’t found to be employees, they were found to be workers. See https://www.gov.uk/employment-status ; it’s a complex area e.g. http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/what-is-the-difference-between-a-worker-and-an-employee/ . Even if they were employees, that wouldn’t necessarily mean Uber could force certain days/hours, that would depend upon their employment contract. There is nothing saying employees cannot be given great flexibility in their contracts, just big corporations generally don’t find it in their interests to do so…

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Yeah. There’s a nice summary from a chap at Mills & Reeve (terrible website, though; place has gone downhill since I left ;)), which points out that this hasn’t actually created any new law, it’s just taken the existing law and said “yes, the law applies to you”. You would think that Uber, having had to be told this four hundred times, would eventually get the message…

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