Uber is to treat its 70,000 drivers in the UK as workers, giving them a number of basic employment protections.
The ride-hailing app lost a Supreme Court case last month, with a judge ruling that drivers should be classed as workers, not as independent third-party contractors.
This means they have access to holiday pay and a pension scheme, as well as earning at least the minimum wage starting from Wednesday.
Minimum wage is currently £8.72 per hour for those aged 25 and over, although it will increase to £8.91 per hour for everyone aged 23 and over from 1 April.
The holiday pay will be paid fortnightly and based on 12.07% of the worker’s earnings, while the automatic enrolment into a pension plan will include employer contributions.
Workers in the UK are entitled to fewer rights than employees, who are guaranteed sick pay and parental leave, but Uber says its employees have had free insurance to cover sickness, injury, and parental leave since 2018.
Uber said the court ruling had “provided a clearer path forward as to a model that gives drivers the rights of worker status while continuing to let them work flexibly”.
Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, said: “This is an important day for drivers in the UK.
“Uber drivers will receive an earnings guarantee, holiday pay and a pension, and will retain the flexibility they currently value.
“Uber is just one part of a larger private-hire industry, so we hope that all other operators will join us in improving the quality of work for these important workers who are an essential part of our everyday lives.”
The Silicon Valley-based company said its drivers in London earn £17 an hour on average and that they will retain their flexibility to choose when and where they work.