‘Sharing economy’ firms like Uber must respect workers’ rights, says TUC

EU guidelines are a 'good start' but the UK must go further


Uber drivers must not be exploited by distant tax-dodging tech firms, the Trades Union Congress said today.

The TUC was responding to new European Commission guidelines on the ‘sharing economy’ to create common standards across the EU.

The guidelines are an attempt to stop national governments banning companies like Uber outright, while pressing these companies to abide by their duties as employers.

They were welcomed by the TUC, which called them a ‘good starting point’ as they recognise these companies as employers, but said the UK must go further.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, said:

‘The sharing economy creates exciting new opportunities, but it has to be fair for all and not a free-for-all. Companies like Uber should not be allowed to dodge the responsibilities other employers have.

Sharing economy companies cannot just take the money and run. They must provide decent working conditions for the people who create their profits. And they must pay their fair share of tax on profits and turnover.’

On the EU guidelines, she said:

‘The EU guidelines are a good starting point because they make clear that sharing economy companies can be recognised as employers by member states.

The UK must build on this to ensure every worker in the sharing economy gets a fair deal, full employment rights, the opportunity to join a union, and is not exploited by a distant tax-dodging tech firm.’

O’Grady added:

‘By taking action to ensure member states are looking after the interests of people working in the sharing economy, the EU is showing the benefits of a Remain vote to working people.’

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.