- Uber drivers and delivery workers globally now have access to a series of education and job preparation benefits, the company announced July 29.
- The ride-sharing company said it partnered with Rosetta Stone to offer language learning resources accessible via Uber's app for drivers. The feature supports 24 languages and includes some content covering rideshare interactions. Some drivers also will be able to request a letter from Uber that describes and offers statistics on the work they have completed, which Uber said drivers may use on future job applications.
- Additionally, Uber said it has reached 100 graduates of its tuition coverage program. The program, already available to drivers and delivery workers who complete 3,000 trips for Uber Pro or 1,000 trips for Uber Eats Pro and who reach Uber Pro Gold, Diamond or Platinum status, provides drivers or their family members in the U.S. 100% tuition coverage at Arizona State University.
Benefits for gig economy workers have long been a topic of discussion in the HR industry, with stakeholders debating how to best ensure access to healthcare, financial and other benefits.
Uber and other gig economy firms have sought frameworks that preserve independent contractor relationships between themselves and the workers using their platforms, such as portable benefits. In the past, executives at such firms have argued that legal restrictions complicate the platforms' ability to close compensation gaps between employees and gig workers.
Simultaneously, Uber, Lyft and other such platforms have fought to prevent state governments from introducing laws that would classify workers on their platforms as employees. In 2020, a California appeals court affirmed a lower court's holding that the state's recently passed Assembly Bill No. 5 required Uber and Lyft to reclassify California drivers as employees. The companies backed a voter initiative to designate app-based drivers as independent contractors. The initiative, Proposition 22, passed in November.
Uber said the language benefits offered in partnership with Rosetta Stone could appeal to app-based workers who are immigrants, a category that represents a significant portion of its workforce in a couple major cities. Uber cited data showing that immigrant workers composed 82% of rideshare drivers in London and 90% of rideshare drivers in New York City.