IPSE: Self-employed drivers at risk after Uber decision

Tens of thousands of self-employed drivers could be put out of work by Transport for London's decision to revoke Uber's licence, according to IPSE.

The professional body representing UK freelancers and the self-employed, IPSE says it is "extremely concerned" about the impact of the decision by Transport for London (TfL) on self-employed drivers who find work through Uber.

Chris Bryce, IPSE ceo said: "TfL's decision not to renew Uber's licence is perverse and will leave tens of thousands of hardworking, honest and dedicated self-employed drivers out of work. It is a bad move for London's travellers and a disaster for people using the app to make a living."

The vast majority of drivers who use the Uber platform are self-employed, said Bryce. "Many of the drivers are tied in to lease deals on their cars and they will be incurring costs without a way to earn a living."

He added: "This seems like a politically-motivated decision which totally ignores the many thousands of men and women who earn a living through the Uber app, and runs counter to what should be at the heart of Sadiq Khan's political agenda: ensuring the wellbeing of ordinary hardworking people. As a country, we should be embracing the innovation of the app-based economy. Denying it would be a Luddite move that suggests the UK is not open for business."

IPSE is calling on Sadiq Khan to challenge the decision and intervene to ensure Uber drivers can keep working.

However, Professor John Colley, of Warwick Business School, has said that Uber needs to rethink its strategy. "Poor values ultimately bring leaders and companies down. Uber is already effectively banned from a number of countries including France, Spain and Belgium and now London [and it] faces litigation and investigation all round the world. Until Uber gets this message then it will suffer lost trade as a result of its deteriorating reputation."

Today, Uber chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, apologised for the "mistakes we've made".

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