In a major gig economy development, London’s transit authority announced today that it will revoke Uber’s operating license. Among the reasons cited for the revocation are problems in the way Uber conducts background checks of its drivers. Employment law may be lurking right below the surface here: Uber often resists better background-check procedures as part of its efforts to skirt the protections of employment law. The transit authority’s decision, reported by the New York Times, will take effect September 30th and is subject to appeal by Uber.
This is clearly a huge decision in its own right – Uber claims 40,000 drivers and 3.5 million riders in London. But it will be even more important to see whether other cities follow London’s lead. The Reshaping Work Conference in Amsterdam next month should be a good place to track and discuss this development.