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Uber drivers in UK granted employment status, to enjoy pensions, other benefits

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FOLLOWING a judgement of the Supreme Court in the United Kingdom which granted ‘worker status’ to drivers engaged by Uber, the car-hailing company has announced that its drivers would enjoy pension and national minimum wage.

Chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi acknowledged the announcement, saying it was a significant point reached after a legal battle that lasted five years with the Union members, the BBC said.

UK drivers working for Uber would now be entitled to at least the National Living Wage for over 25s, irrespective of a driver’s age, after accepting a trip request and after expenses.

All drivers would also be paid holiday time based on 12.07 percent of their earnings – paid out on a fortnightly basis.

Apart from these benefits, Uber drivers would automatically be enrolled into a pension plan with contributions from Uber alongside drivers, setting drivers up for life after work.

Uber also stated that it would continue to provide free insurance in cases of sickness or injury, while drivers would still retain the right to choose when to drive.

Uber was founded in 2009 with a view to providing car-hailing services, food delivery, among others. Its car services are in operation in over 70 countries across Europe, Asia and Africa.

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Car Hailing service in Nigeria

IN Nigeria, car-hailing service is operated across major cities of the country, dominantly by Uber and Bolt, formerly known as Taxify.

However, drivers with Uber and Bolt are not categorised as employees of the car-hailing services in Nigeria.

In September 2020, some drivers with Uber and Bolt in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, had protested against the ‘high commission’ rate and lack of welfare from both car services.

When The ICIR contacted Bolt in September 2020 over drivers’ demands for welfare packages from them, the company said the drivers were self-employed.

Uber, Bolt, others have agreed to pay N20 per trip, says Lagos government

“Bolt drivers are independent contractors and not employees, who utilise the Bolt platform to access riders and in principle are self-employed.  As such, there are limitations to the form of support Bolt can offer.

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“However, Bolt does provide registered drivers with incentives and various packages in unique situations based on the activities of individual drivers in cities Bolt is operational,” the company said in a response to questions from The ICIR

Author profile

Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via labolade@icirnigeria.org, on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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