Drivers who have committed themselves to Uber and who transport passengers via the Uber app fall under the collective labor agreement for taxi transport, three subdistrict court judges have determined.
The case was brought by the trade union FNV. The judge agrees with the union that the legal relationship between Uber and the drivers meets all the characteristics of an employment contract.
‘Subject to algorithm’
The Uber app has a disciplinary and instructive effect, and a financial incentive, according to the judges. “As soon as the drivers use the app, they are subject to the operation of the algorithm designed by Uber and unilaterally to be changed by it. The drivers therefore fall under the ‘modern employer authority’ that Uber exercises via the app.”
Uber drivers can in certain cases claim back pay, the judges said. In addition, Uber must pay FNV compensation of 50,000 euros for failing to comply with the Collective Labor Agreement for Taxi Transport.
‘Working with freelancers saves Uber money’
According to a calculation by FNV, Uber only works with freelancers saves the company around 58 million euros per year in taxes and social security contributions.
In similar cases, several judges have previously ruled that Deliveroo deliverers should be treated as employees.
Well won in California
Last year, Uber and competitor Lyft in the US state of California did win: Voters voted overwhelmingly in favor of an exception law, which means that the companies do not have to treat independent contractors, such as taxi drivers, as employees.