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UK COURT RULING AGAINST UBER: What implications for other cab hailing apps?



The UK Supreme Court, on Friday, February 19, ruled that Uber drivers be treated as workers, acknowledging their entitlement to work benefits such as minimum wage and holiday pay.

The new ruling alters how drivers are categorised when engaged by Uber, a position which is perceived to go against the initial understanding of the company when it launched to disrupt the transportation sector some years back.

Before the judgement, a duo of former Uber drivers, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, had dragged the cab hailing company to the supreme court over whether they should be classed as workers or self-employed.

Earlier in October 2016, the duo had won an employment tribunal against the company, which the company reacted to with an appeal.

However, on Friday, the new ruling was pronounced, culminated the five-year-old case between the ride hailing company and the two Uber drivers.

READ ALSO: Uber slapped with $9.5m fine for breaking competition rules

Analysts, following the courts judgement, have speculated that it could spur other drivers outside the UK to demand for similar compensation.

In Nigeria, where Uber controls a fair share of the ride hailing market alongside Bolt, GidiCab and few others, the tension could (in no time) be more apparent.

But again, perhaps, it’s a time to review work ethics and conditions of Uber in the UK compared to other Uber service domains.

Analysts believe that if these work cultures should be similar, Nigerian Uber drivers, amongst a host of others, could file similar lawsuits.

And, beyond Uber, this could further lead to the disruption of the entire cab-hailing venture -the business model and work culture, going on to affect Bolt, GidiCab and others.

This is more believable seeing that at one time or another, Uber drivers in Nigeria had complained about the issue of rewards and payment from the app, and had made a case for an upward review.

By Ridwan Adelaja

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