NZ Uber drivers look to UK ruling

Uber drivers in New Zealand aren't ruling out taking the company to court after the UK ruling (Reuters)
Uber drivers in New Zealand aren't ruling out taking the company to court after the UK ruling (Reuters)

The Uber Drivers' Association of New Zealand is keen to adopt a ruling from the UK that turns the drivers into employees and not contractors.

It would mean they qualify for holiday pay and get a minimum wage.

Uber drivers in New Zealand aren't ruling out taking the company to court after the UK ruling, and the move may now set a precedent for other self-employed workers to get similar rights.

The New Zealand Uber Drivers' Association says it is interested in seeking the same ruling in New Zealand.

"The ability to possibly seek to be employees rather than contractors is certainly something we may pursue in future," says chairman Ben Wilson.

But some Uber drivers believe that goes against the whole idea of being an independent owner-driver.

"The beauty of Uber is being as flexible as you can and being employed by yourself," says driver Bruce Purvis.

"If we become employed, then it means we need to start work at a certain time and finish at a certain time."

But unionists say the move should now set the standard for other people who are in similar self-employed work.

"Whether they're couriers or they're hotel workers, there are too many workers being described as self-employed when really they should be entitled to the rights that all workers get," says UK Trade Union general secretary Frances O'Grady.

But many drivers take on Uber as a second job, and loosing that flexibility and self-employment could defeat the whole purpose.

Newshub.

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