Not many know that by mid-March 2021 some 70.000 British taxi drivers, previously partnered, will become permanent employees of Uber Technologies. They will receive benefits, minimum wages, salaries and pension funds. With this new policy, according to Uber, drivers will be able to plan their future. Chief Executive Uber Dara Khosrowshashi said, this works platform is likely differ in a number of countries (www.france24.com).
Earlier, January 2021 in the US, drivers and food deliverers at an application service filed a lawsuit with the California State Supreme Court. They called for repealing the Labor Law and were supported by on-demand service providers, including Uber and Lyft (www.cnbcindonesia.com). Referring to the call, the driver will remain an independent contractor, but the companies that support them must provide benefits, including minimum wages, medical fees and insurance.
Meanwhile, Spain has also decided to accept drivers who work in food delivery, such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats, to be paid as staff. This follows complaints over the working conditions of food deliverers (www.kompas.com).
In Indonesia, the main question regarding the welfare of online taxi drivers: when they become partners, why are they not on the same level as other employees? Gojek and Grab can call their driver-partners as anything. Facts on the ground prove that these ride-hailing companies have a lot of control over their drivers.
In Europe, this unequal relationship has resulted in court decisions: driver partners must be employed like permanent employees, and must have the same rights as other employees. How about in Indonesia? There are two notes.
First, the government has conducted a study and is still considering the need for application companies to appoint driver partners as employees. The conclusion of the two studies is that the government cannot ask application companies to appoint driver partners as employees, because the business model they are running is not entirely in the transportation sector.
Second, permanent employees vs social security. Indonesian transportation observers stated that instead of being busy discussing whether to become employees or not, they want the government to focus on ensuring that driver-partners get health and employment social security (id.techinasia.com)
If seen, all the elements that smooth over a suit against uber in UK also can be found in the local ride hailing ecosystem. The steps taken by UK and Italy will be an interesting case study for Indonesian regulators, given that the ride hailing business in Indonesia is growing rapidly, and has even become part of the people’s lifestyle.