Uber hit with $600m UK drivers’ bill after being forced to classify them as workers

Business

Uber has set aside $600m (£430m) to resolve “historical claims” relating to its private hire drivers in the UK after it lost a legal battle over their employment rights.

The company said in March that it would give basic protections to 70,000 drivers in the country, following the Supreme Court defeat earlier in the year which meant they had to be classed as workers rather than self-employed contractors.

It meant they would have access to holiday pay and a pension scheme, as well as entitlement to be paid at least the national living wage – though Uber Eats delivery workers were not included.

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Why can’t Uber Eats couriers also benefit?

A senior executive told Sky News at the time that it would be contacting its private hire drivers with settlement offers to make up for shortfalls in past pay.

First quarter financial results published in the US on Wednesday disclosed how much that is expected to cost.

The company said: “Uber has launched a process to resolve historical claims from UK drivers relating to their classification under UK law.”

It said revenues were reduced by $600m “due to the accrual made” to resolve the claims.

That meant sales for the quarter were down by 11% compared to the same period a year ago, to $2.9bn. Without the UK provision they would have grown by 8%.