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UK Government plan to review GDPR seen as a blow to ride-hail and delivery drivers



The UK Government’s plan to review GDPR rights in the Queen’s Speech has been seen as a hammer blow to worker rights in the ride-hailing and delivery sectors.

This week the Government announced that it would move ahead with legislation to reform the UK GDPR. In November 2021, the Department of Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) issued a consultation document which proposed a reduction of digital rights.

Worker Info Exchange (WIE) says this could have a negative effect on gig economy workers who rely on platforms like Uber, Bolt and Deliveroo for their livelihood if enacted in law.

The consultation proposes two reforms of particular concern to WEI:

  1. The Government is proposing to introduce a fee regime so that gig economy platforms could charge their workers for the right to access and inspect the processing of their personal data at work.

  2. The Government is proposing to completely remove the current GDPR Article 22 provisions which offer protection from unfair automated decision-making including profiling.

The Government is planning to move ahead with weakening these key digital rights at work while again delaying a long-promised employment bill which aims to tackle widespread abuses in the gig economy.

Later this month, Worker Info Exchange will be back in court against Uber and Ola Cabs over their failure to comply with the current provisions of the GDPR particularly in the areas of data access and unfair automated dismissals.

Last year, Worker Info Exchange won a default judgment ordering Uber to reinstate six workers who has had been robo-fired by Uber systems. The court also determined that Ola Cabs had illegally deducted wages from another driver by means of automated decision making.

James Farrar, Director of Worker Info Exchange, said: “The Government has not only failed to bring forward the employment bill which was initially planned six years ago to address serious worker rights violations in the gig economy, but now Nadine Dorries plans to dismantle core digital worker rights which are vital to anyone who relies on an app to earn a living. The government has just given bad platform bosses the green light to ruthlessly exploit by algorithm, to conceal management control and to tie the weak hands of some of the most vulnerable and poorly paid workers in Britain today. It’s a bad boss’s charter to innovate mass exploitation.”

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