Uber confirms workers will receive pensions following court ruling

Uber has confirmed that it will give its workers pensions following a recent Supreme Court decision that ruled its employees were not self-employed.

As Uber now has to class its employees as workers, it has revealed it will pay its approximately 70,000 drivers at least the National Living Wage (£8.72 an hour).

The ruling also brings drivers within the scope of auto-enrolment, provided they work enough hours to meet the minimum earnings trigger of £10,000 a year.

Once the National Living Wage increases to £8.91 an hour in April, Uber drivers will need to work at least 22 hours a week to qualify for auto-enrolment.

Industry experts have said that the ruling and subsequent pension enrolment could have a wider effect on the gig economy, possibly opening the door to other gig workers becoming eligible for auto-enrolment.

“The news that Uber will pay minimum wages and make pension contributions will generate a lot of interest not just for its drivers but potentially send shock waves through the wider gig economy,” commented Aegon head of pensions, Kate Smith.

“The flexible working arrangements offered by companies like Uber have created new types of work but often with very few benefits.

“For Uber drivers the addition of benefits like a pension will provide a degree of longer-term financial security and help to provide a base level of income in retirement for those who stay with the company longer term."

However, the ruling does not apply to Uber Eats drivers and there are some concerns that Uber will not count the hours that drivers are waiting for customers as payable time.
“It looks as though there will be further wrangling over what Uber deem the drivers’ working hours and this will have important ramifications for whether people meet the minimum income threshold to be enrolled in a pension," Smith concluded.

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