What does the Uber ruling mean for hybrid estate agents?

Oct 28, 2016

An employment tribunal has made a landmark ruling today that the private hire unicorn Uber must now pay its drivers the national living wage and holiday pay, a decision that will have huge implications for companies in the so called gig-economy.

Leading online estate agent Emoov.co.uk, has raised the question whether this could have implications for a number of other industries, including some new property entities.

Uber plans to appeal the decision claiming they are a tech firm and the drivers are self-employed. But if unsuccessful it could not only have huge implications for Uber, but could challenge other companies across a number of other sectors.

Founder and CEO of Emoov.co.uk, Russell Quirk, asks what this means for some online and hybrid estate agents who, unlike Emoov, don’t actually employ the local property representatives that they send to people’s homes, instead hiring them just on a self-employed basis.

This is a monumental decision and will have implications that stretch far beyond Uber and its self-employed drivers.

If it overlaps into the online estate agency sector, our competitors that choose to hire self-employed agents will feel the financial brunt of now having to unexpectedly pay out a national minimal wage, holiday pay, sickness pay and so on to hundreds of boots on the ground who currently live solely on the commission they make, or in some cases the money from other jobs that they do in-between.

Our policy at Emoov is to fully employ our Local Property Directors, specifically from the property industry itself and with proper basic salaries, car allowances and incentives. In this way we ensure a genuine and wholehearted buy-in to our standards, our training and our culture from the team that value the homes of potential customers. And no legislative surprises that might wrong foot our specific business model and which, fortunately, is differentiated from others in our space

Russell Quirk

Founder & CEO, Emoov.co.uk