Uber Defends Contractors, EU Law on Gig Workers Rights Eyed

Uber on Monday called on EU regulators to recognise the value of independent contracts in job creation as they consider new rules to protect gig economy workers.

The company has been criticised for classifying its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees entitled to rights, such as a minimum wage, paid holidays and rest breaks.

Uber has a mixed record in defending its business model. It scored a victory in California in November last year when voters passed a proposition allowing it to treat its drivers as contractors. One of its biggest tests so far will be on Feb. 19 when the UK Supreme Court will rule on workers rights.

Ubers comments in a white paper to the European Commission precede a consultation on Feb. 24 when the EU executive will seek feedback from workers and employers representatives on gig workers rights before drafting laws on the subject by yearend.

This standard for platform work needs to recognise the value of independent work, and be grounded in principles drivers and couriers say are most important to them, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a blog post.

He said workers should have flexibility and control over when and where they want to work and that any changes should apply to the sector and not just one company.

We believe a new approach is possible one where having access to protections and benefits doesnt come at the cost of flexibility and of job creation, Khosrowshahi said.

The Commission said it will first seek…

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