Government Minister says ‘we must get the balance right between having a free market and making sure that the flexibility of the labour market is not impeded’, following debate on landmark Uber workers’ rights judgment.
The comments were made as part of an ‘Urgent Question’ debate discussed at the House of Commons on Wednesday 26 February following the recent Uber workers' rights ruling.
Uber drivers were handed basic workers’ rights, which include minimum wage and holiday pay.
Theresa Villiers, Conservative MP for Chipping Barnet, asked: “Does the Minister agree that Uber should pay its drivers more, because that is good for those drivers, but it is also good for the licensed taxi drivers who feel that they have been subjected to competition from Uber in recent years that is aggressive, unfair and predatory?”
Paul Scully, Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, responded: “My right hon. Friend knows that I am also Minister for London, so I take a keen interest in these important issues.
“The people who drive black cabs —that premium product—do amazing work throughout; they are icons of London.
“However, we must get the balance right between having a free market and making sure that the flexibility of the labour market is not impeded by any encroachment on workers’ rights and what is due to them.”
Earlier during the same debate Andy McDonald, Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights, also accused the ride-sharing firm of attempting to “dodge the Supreme Court’s ruling”.
McDonald addressed Uber’s reaction to the court’s decision, saying: “Uber is attempting to dodge the Supreme Court’s ruling, just as it attempts to dodge its responsibilities to its drivers, by trying to interpret the ruling so it applies to only a tiny minority of its workforce.”
Following the judgment tens of thousands of Uber drivers can now claim the right to be classed as workers after the Supreme Court handed down its judgment, but McDonald claims that the company is trying to avoid a mass claim by its drivers.