Uber has long argued that its drivers are independent contractors, not employees. While that distinction has been argued in the courts, the company has been upping driver perks to try to keep them on side and silence critics. Its latest effort in the UK is a partnership with the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE). For £2 per week, Uber drivers can sign up for IPSE benefits which include sickness and injury cover up to £2,000, jury cover up to £2,000, access to financial advice and support, and occupational accident cover up to £300. Uber says it's making "a significant contribution" to the scheme, and that the benefits are worth £8 per week.
Anyone who's been stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic in an Uber probably could have used a pair of headphones or an Altoid at some point. Cargo is a new startup that promises to provide those random items you'd be happy to have mid-ride -- and, more importantly, offer another source of income for ride-hailing drivers. SEE ALSO: A top advocate for women in tech shares 5 ways companies can learn from Uber's mistakes Cargo partners with brands to put candy, protein bars, tampons, and condoms in a case that sits within reach of passengers. The case comes with a code unique to each driver, which passengers use to record what they took during the ride. A lot of the items cost a dollar or two, but others are free for the taking.
The number of Uber drivers across the United States has exploded in recent years, with people signing up in droves due to the flexibility and simplicity offered by the service. In major U.S. cities, Uber drivers are outearning their counterparts driving taxis by considerable margins, according to a report released by the National Bureau of Economic Research. There are considerable differences in earnings by city with San Francisco proving the most lucrative city for Uber drivers. Estimated net earnings per hour in San Francisco come to $23.87, compared to just $12.96 for taxi drivers and chauffeurs. New York is another city where Uber drivers can earn good money, with net hourly earnings amounting to $23.69.
Ride-sharing drivers might be without employee protections or health insurance, but at least they have Driver Appreciation Day -- if they work for Lyft. The No. 2 ride-sharing company is celebrating its drivers with a new appreciation day on Wednesday. The company will match tips riders award its drivers for the day, capped at $20 per driver. "It's a culmination of actions we've taken over the years to put our drivers first," Lyft President John Zimmer told Mashable. To mark the day, Lyft posted an animated short film featuring music by Sir the Baptist, who Zimmer said got his start in music while working as a Lyft driver.