Uber drivers in SA want to be independent workers

Uber South Africa has hit back after a local human rights attorney announced that it would be representing Uber drivers in a class action suit.

Uber drivers in SA want to be independent workers

Most Uber drivers want to work independently and major changes to the Uber App have improved benefits for local drivers Uber South Africa said in response to the recent announcement of pending legal action against the firm.

South African human rights attorneys Mbuyisa Moleele Attorneys, assisted by Leigh Day  announced that they will be filing a class action against Uber BV and Uber SA to have drivers declared “employees” in the Johannesburg Labour Court. The move follows a UK Supreme Court victory in which the court ruled that the firm’s drivers in the UK were “workers” in terms of UK labour legislation, and therefore entitled to benefits such as holiday pay.

Uber drivers in South Africa benefit from new app features

However, Uber SA said most drivers in the country wanted to work independently.

“The vast majority of drivers who use the Uber app say they want to work independently,” Uber SA said. 

“We’ve already made significant changes to our app to ensure we support this, including through Partner Injury Protection, new safety features and access to quality and affordable private healthcare cover for drivers and their families, voluntarily,” she said.

Uber SA said the firm was doing “as much as possible to enhance the earnings potential of drivers, and leverage innovative offerings like fuel rewards, vehicle maintenance and other special offers to help them.”

“At a time when we need more jobs, not fewer, we believe Uber and other platforms can be a bridge to a sustainable economic recovery. Uber has already produced thousands of sustainable economic opportunities,” she said.

She said this was why the Uber business model was so appealing because it provided drivers with independent status, while allowing them to grow their businesses and allowing them to pursue any economic activities of their choice.

In 2018, a ruling by the South Africa Labour Court ruled that a group of former driver-partners were not employees of Uber.

Source : The South African More