The gig economy workers’ union has threatened to take Uber to court over its failure to offer a “sharia compliant” pension plan for its Muslim majority workforce.
The App Drivers & Couriers Union (ADCU) has threatened to sue Uber for failing to provide a pension offering that complies with the tenets of Islamic beliefs, after claiming that the firm’s failure to do so breaches UK equality laws.
The ADCU called on Uber to take action within the next 14 days to offer an Islamic pension plan, as it argued Muslim Uber drivers are now effectively being forced out of participation in Uber’s pension scheme, as the firm does not offer a sharia compliant pension provision.
In a statement, the union noted that up to three-quarters of Uber drivers working the UK are Muslims, as it called on Uber to set up a pension scheme that avoids investing in businesses that sell haram products or services such as alcohol, weapons, or pork.
In explaining its case, the ACDU pointed to the Pension Act of 1998, which states that all workers have a statutory right to participate in their workplace’s pension scheme, as it claimed Uber’s failure to provide a sharia compliant plan puts the firm in opposition to the Equality Act 2010.
The call comes after Uber launched its pension programme in September of last year, after the Supreme Court ruled that drivers are not simply self-employed contractors but they should instead be classified as workers.
ADCU president Yaseen Aslam said “the exclusion of a Sharia option effectively makes the pension scheme inaccessible for the bast majority of the workforce,” as he claimed the ADCU have been “stonewalled” in their efforts “to resolve the matter quietly.”
“This is another example of how minority groups by default are forced to struggle for the most basic of rights in the gig economy,” Aslam said. “The ADCU is determined to contest matter through the courts to make sure Uber makes lawful, fair and inclusive pension arrangements.”
An Uber spokesperson said: “We are extremely proud to be the only ride-hailing platform to offer drivers worker benefits including a guaranteed living wage, holiday pay, and pension plan.”
“The vast majority of drivers participate in our current pension scheme and we are working with our pension partner, NOW Pensions, as they create a Sharia-compliant fund which will be available to drivers soon.”