Uber drivers in the UK will soon be able to get sick pay, thanks to a new partnership between the ride-sharing company and the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE). The IPSE, an organization that represents self-employed people within the country, announced the partnership on April 27, via its official web page. As to what's covered under the agreement, the most prominent new benefit is the above-mentioned sick pay. Drivers will be covered for up to £2,000 if they can't work for two or more weeks and that doesn't just include coughs and fevers. According to the IPSE, injuries will also be covered. The benefits also account for up to that same amount covered in case a driver must participate in jury service. Another plus is that Uber will also provide drivers with access to support and advice across a range of topics that fall under the categorization of personal finance issues. More specifically, the announcement lists the examples of paying taxes or figuring out mortgages, pensions, and savings.
The only catch here is that gaining access to the benefits requires drivers to enroll in a membership with the IPSE. The benefits are to be included as part of that membership offering as part of a deal worked out between Uber and the IPSE. The membership itself is said to cost drivers around £2 per week charge for enrollment. Depending on a given worker's level of involvement with the ride-sharing app, among other factors like how often that driver tends to become ill or get injured, the membership sounds like it could be a pretty good deal. The IPSE, for its part, claims that its only motivation is to serve as a representative for every person working for themselves in the UK, citing that "private hire and taxi drivers have been self-employed" for decades. Further initiatives are also expected to be introduced throughout 2017 to help the organization further that goal.
The news coming out of Uber has, for the most part, not been very good over the past several months. From inner conflict and turmoil to the most recent scandal involving the alleged use of "Greyball" software, Uber could really use some good PR. Fortunately, the company's missteps seem to have at least begun to be offset by moves like this one and other changes the company is making. With any luck, the company will learn from its experiences and continue to take corrective steps. In any case, partnering to allow any kind of benefits package for its self-employed ride-sharers seems like a smart move.