South Africa arbitration body: Uber drivers are employees

14 Jul 2017

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration in South Africa (an independent arbitration body) ruled that Uber drivers are subject to Uber’s control, and, as such, employees. The decision came in favour of a group of drivers who were fired by Uber by deactivating them from the Uber application without reason. According to the Commission, although drivers can choose their working hours, and decide whether to accept, decline, or ignore a request for a ride, Uber controls the manner in which they work, by setting ‘clear standards and performance requirements’. Uber announced it would challenge the decision in the Labour Court.

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Historically, telecommunications, broadcasting, and other related areas were separate industry segments; they used different technologies and were governed by different regulations. The broad and prevailing use of the Internet has aided in the convergence of technological platforms for telecommunications, broadcasting, and information delivery.

It is frequently mentioned that the Internet is changing the way in which we work. ICTs have blurred the traditional routine of work, free time, and sleep (8+8+8 hours), especially in multinational corporation working environment. It is increasingly difficult to distinguish where work starts and where it ends. These changes in working patterns may require new labour legislation, addressing such issues as working hours, the protection of labour interests, and remuneration.

 

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