A research paper released today has for the first time, combined Uber’s administrative data in Australia with demographic surveys to better understand the experience of more than 60,000 rideshare driver partners who are using the Uber App.

The report, ‘Flexibility and fairness_ what matters to workers in the new economy’  by Australian economic advisory firm Alphabeta, has found that driver partners most value the flexibility the app provides and the majority could not use Uber without being able to choose if, when and where they drive.

Key points from the report

  • The report finds that around 5.5 million Australian workers are in ‘low’ or ‘neutral’ flexibility jobs and, of these, 1.2 million say that they want more flexibility.
  • 78 per cent of driver-partners signed up to Uber because of its flexible opportunities – and 3 in 5 would not work at all without the flexibility the app provides.
  • Driver-partners using Uber are satisfied across a range of ‘job’ attributes – flexibility, the work itself, hours, job security and remuneration.
  • For a significant portion of driver-partners, Uber is a supplemental source of income. Nearly half of all driver-partners spend a maximum of 10 hours per week on the app.
  • A minority of driver-partners have weekly hours on the Uber app that compare to full-time work. Just 6% drive more than 40 hours per week and just 8% drive between 30 and 40 hours per week.
  • In Sydney, the average driver-partner receives $29.46 (after Uber’s service fee) for every hour on the app. The average costs incurred (including GST, fuel, insurance, maintenance and depreciation) is $8.46/hour. Accordingly, the average earnings per hour, net of costs, is estimated to be $21.00 per hour.
  • The report also shows earnings vary depending on whether driver-partners are active at times and in places where demand is highest. For example, driver-partners who use the app in peak times of the week or in areas of high demand, earn more than the average.

While driver partners value flexibility, the report also found that many partners don’t want to have to choose between flexibility and the security and protections provided by other traditional employment.

Uber has already made progress with the introduction of a Partner Support and Protection policy, to give drivers and delivery partners peace of mind should something go wrong while on a trip.

There is more to do to support independent workers and at Uber we want to be the driving force for this in Australia.

We want to continue to offer a better experience and more support through our App for both driver and delivery-partners across Australia and have outlined our vision for the future of work. We are actively discussing and pursuing reforms that make it easier for everyone to work in the way they choose while still having access to a set of reliable and affordable protections in work.

Downloadable report: Alphabeta – Flexibility and fairness: what matters to workers in the new economy