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Uber should not evade the responsibilities of an employer: Prof Noel Whiteside

Uber today begins its appeal against the tribunal ruling which gives its drivers benefits. Noel Whiteside, Professor of Comparative Public Policy from the Institute of Employment Research at the University of Warwick, comments.

noel_whiteside.jpg“Uber (and other agencies and IT platforms) should not evade the responsibilities of an employer.

“Aside from the consumer protection issues it raises, open registration destroys the possibility of anyone being able to earn a living working through the app or agency. And increasing wages does not cure the threat of poverty, if it means more people are attracted to take up the work on a part-time basis, thereby increasing competition for jobs.

“In addition, individuals are now expected to save for their own social protection (pensions, sick and holiday pay etc.) and driving down income in this way militates against this possibility.

“Ultimately we need to distinguish the gig economy that professionals enjoy, from the gig economy which operates off the backs of the unskilled. Irregular work and wages create insecurity and there is evidence that this exacerbates mental illness.”

27 September, 2017

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