Since the inception of Uber, numerous legal questions have arisen with regards to the relationship between the company and its drivers, and whether they can be classified as "employees", or merely independent contractors. Under the later classification, drivers could suffer substantially since they would be deprived from the benefits stipulated under the Labor Law. Accordingly, disputes between drivers and Uber have arisen in many countries for instance, in February 2021, the UK Supreme unanimously upheld that Uber drivers are to be classified as "employees" under local labor law, and not, independent contractors. This ruling was of course issued after Uber being defeated at every stage of its appeal before numerous Employment Tribunals.
The UK Supreme Court considered several elements in its judgment which can be summarized in the following points:
- Uber is responsible for setting the fares for their services, meaning that they dictated how much drivers could earn
- Uber sets the contract terms and drivers have no say in them
- Request for rides are constrained by Uber who can penalize drivers if they reject too many rides
- Uber monitors a driver's service through the star rating mechanism and has the capacity to terminate the relationship if after repeated warnings service does not improve
- Uber restricts communication between the passenger and driver to the minimum necessary to carry out the trip
Further, the reclassification of the Supreme Court and several courts around the world is considered a victory for this massive group of workers, since the “freelance” system used by Uber is finally facing criticism, particularly by Britain's Trade Union which describes it as an “exploitative system,". This was expanded upon by Sir George Legate, one of the Supreme Court judges, who stated that: “The Supreme Court unanimously dismisses Uber's appeal, and that the legislation's purpose is to protect vulnerable workers who have no say in their salaries or working conditions.”
In this regard, the purpose of this article is for the law enforcement authorities in Egypt to reconsider the relationship between ride sharing applications, and their drivers, and particularly to classify them as employees, entitled to the benefits stipulated in the Egyptian Labor Law,
The designation of Uber's drivers as employees, confirms that they are entitled to the benefits stipulated in Egypt's Labor Law, such as the minimum wage, paid holiday, paid sick leave, protection from termination of employment without reason, and distribution of company profits as per Egyptian Labour Law, thus granting this category their right to protection, security and stability, which have long been essential characteristics of any civilized society.
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