Labour Market

Uber ruling will hurt both drivers and consumers


Press Release

IEA releases report on taxation and economic growth

The IEA comments on the employment tribunal ruling on Uber

Commenting on the employment tribunal ruling on Uber, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

It’s a mistake to think of Uber as an employer – it is simply a platform that allows drivers and customers to meet and trade. By harnessing the power of the app, drivers are able to work for themselves; they set their own working hours and decide with whom they will do business.

Uber is no different from the dozens of other sharing platforms, such as Airbnb and eBay. It would be laughable to suppose that those who run their business through eBay should expect sick pay and holiday leave from the tech firm.
“Forcing regulations such as the minimum wage and the Working Time Directive onto sharing platforms will invariably increase their operating costs and force them to scale down. Drivers and consumers will pay the price through a limited number of “jobs” with Uber and higher prices for customers.

The nature of the labour market is changing, with more people self-employed than ever before. Sharing platforms such as Uber have had a huge part to play in this change that allows people greater flexibility in their work. They should be applauded for enabling these positive changes to peoples’ working lives, not restricted by senseless rulings such as this.

Notes to editors

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The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

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