HR Policy Global

BEERG Newsletter - Gig Economy I: Uber faces legal action over no sharia-compliant pension

A UK pension provider is to redraw its workforce scheme within months of its launch after lawyers for the App Drivers & Couriers Union (ADCU) threatened legal action over the lack of a sharia-compliant investment option for the ride-hailing app’s Muslim-majority workforce. 

Unlike most workplace pension plans, NOW Pensions only offers one investment fund - which is not sharia-compliant - to its millions of auto-enrolled members. According to the union, as many as three-quarters of Uber’s drivers in the UK are Muslims. It said that “the failure of Uber to provide a sharia-compliant pension option effectively means that the majority will be forced out of participation in the pension scheme and those that do participate are forced to accept a compromise of the tenets of their faith to do so.” 

Yaseen Aslam, the president of the ADCU, said that while Uber's announcement last year that UK drivers would be automatically enrolled in a pension scheme, into which the company would contribute three per cent of earnings, had been welcomed, “the exclusion of a sharia option effectively makes the pension scheme inaccessible for the vast majority of the workforce,” adding that the union had “tried to resolve the matter quietly with Uber, but we have simply been stonewalled. This is another example of how minority groups by default are forced to struggle for the most basic of rights in the gig economy." 

He said that the union was “determined to contest this matter through the courts to make sure Uber makes lawful, fair and inclusive pension arrangements.”

Published on: April 27, 2022

Authors: Tom Hayes

Topics: Inclusion and Diversity, The UK and European Union

Tom Hayes

Director of European Union and Global Labor Affairs, HR Policy Association

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Contact Tom Hayes LinkedIn


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