Copyright Moore Barlow LLP (Moore Blatch and Barlow Robbins merged May 2020)

Should you follow Uber’s example and offer employee benefits?

Uber recently announced that it would be providing insurance cover at no extra cost to its drivers over Europe. It is also giving drivers insurance backed protection when not working (i.e. out of driving hours) such as for sickness, having a baby or jury duty.

The news spurred fellow gig-economy delivery firm Deliveroo to announce that it will offer employees free insurance, and include cover for up to £7,500 of medical expense.

Legal comment

Gig-economy workers are entitled to rights including holiday pay, national minimum wage and breaks. Providing extra benefits is not compulsory and can seem like a good way to help restore employee relations and possibly take some of the heat out of unfair employer argument.

However, organisations will need to be cautious that the provision of benefits to attract genuine gig workers does not result in them hiring permanent employees ‘by the back door’. And, advice should always be sought when giving benefits to gig-economy workers.