Uber to pay pensions to all its UK drivers, backdated to 2017

Ride hailing company calls on rival operators to create a cross-industry pension scheme

Uber is to pay out millions of pounds in missed pension payments to UK drivers dating back as far as 2017 under a deal with the retirement savings watchdog.

The ride hailing company was forced to guarantee its 70,000 UK drivers a minimum hourly wage, holiday pay and pensions in March this year after a landmark supreme court ruling over their employment status. Couriers for the group’s UberEats food delivery service are not included in the deal.

On Friday, Uber said its private hire drivers would now be auto-enrolled on to a scheme through which it would contribute 3% of earnings into a pension pot. Drivers can choose to contribute up to 5% of qualifying earnings but will be able to opt out.

Drivers will also receive back payments dating back to 1 May 2017 or the date of their first trip if they joined more recently.

Uber, whose scheme is provided by NOW: Pensions and managed by Adecco, called on rival operators to help create a cross-industry scheme so that drivers who worked across several apps would always benefit.

Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager of northern and eastern Europe, said: “We want to ensure that all eligible drivers can benefit no matter who they earn with, so today I am extending an invitation to work with operators such as Bolt, Addison Lee and Ola to create a cross-industry pension scheme.”

Mick Rix, national officer of the GMB union, which agreed a recognition deal with Uber in May, said: “Uber’s pension scheme is a massive step in the right direction and will no doubt help thousands of drivers as they reach retirement age. GMB urges other platform-based operators to follow Uber’s lead.”

James Farrer, general secretary of the ADCU union, said: “Uber’s 3% pension contribution is welcome but it falls far short of what drivers deserve. Poor pay and Uber’s failure to pay waiting time continue to be a huge source of discontent for the workforce, which is why the ADCU is staging a 24-hour Uber driver strike across eight UK cities on 28 September.”

Uber’s deal comes after a supreme court ruling found the ride hailing group’s private hire drivers should be classed as workers, with rights to minimum hourly pay, holiday pay and a pension. The company had previously classed them as independent self-employed contractors with few rights.

In May, the UK’s pension regulator said it was working closely with Uber on its scheme and called on all gig economy companies to recognise the employment rights of those who work for them and set up workplace pensions.


Sarah Butler

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Council staff pensions at risk from Woodford investments
Three council pension funds have put in up to £10m in sister fund hit by suspension of flagship scheme

Kalyeena Makortoff and Julia Kollewe

16, Jun, 2019 @10:51 AM

Article image
Post Office faces further strikes over pensions
Unite union says its members plan to take industrial action after pension fund trustees approve proposal to cut benefits

Sarah Butler

12, Oct, 2016 @5:09 PM

Article image
Watchdog hails success of auto-enrolment pensions
Ten million more people now saving with big rises in private sector staff, the young and ethnic minorities

Patrick Collinson

24, Oct, 2019 @3:21 PM

Article image
Lloyds bank faces legal challenge over female staff pensions
Lloyds Trade Union starts court action over guaranteed minimum pensions which discriminate against women

Jill Treanor

08, Aug, 2016 @11:12 AM

Article image
Uber awaits tribunal ruling over drivers' status as workers
Union cases demanding basic employment rights and paid holidays could affect 40,000 cabbies in the UK

Julia Kollewe

28, Oct, 2016 @10:21 AM

Article image
UK pensions lifeboat to block Toys R Us survival plan
About 3,200 jobs at risk at 100-plus UK outlets after Pension Protection Fund says retailer’s insolvency plan fails to address its pension scheme deficit

Sarah Butler

19, Dec, 2017 @3:16 PM

Article image
BT considering closing defined-benefit pensions scheme for existing staff
Move by telecoms group follows similar, but more advanced, proposal by Royal Mail Group that has led to strike action threat

Simon Goodley

30, May, 2017 @6:00 AM

Article image
Brexit adds £100m to potential cost of BHS pensions bailout
Sir Philip Green’s bill could hit £670m, including assumed overheads an insurance firm would seek to recoup

Sarah Butler

22, Jul, 2016 @5:26 PM

Article image
Flybe pensions at risk for 1,350 workers and ex-staff
Pension scheme based in Isle of Man sits outside jurisdiction of UK lifeboat scheme and not protected

Patrick Collinson

05, Mar, 2020 @6:33 PM

Article image
BT loses appeal to change method of pensions calculation
Bid to use consumer price index for future payments could have cost members £2bn

Rupert Jones

04, Dec, 2018 @6:17 PM