Employment Law Updates
Jack Harrington

The Supreme Court has handed down a landmark ruling that Uber drivers are in fact ‘workers’

Following a lengthy legal dispute over the past few years, the Supreme Court has this morning confirmed that Uber drivers are ‘workers’, rather than independent self-employed contractors.

The Supreme Court commented that due to Uber’s control over the drivers, including control over their earnings and performance, and the penalties imposed for failing to accept jobs, their drivers were ‘workers’ from the moment they switch on their apps, to the moment they switch off their apps at the end of the day.

The implications of this finding is that as ‘workers’ they are entitled to certain additional rights/protections such as:

  1. the right to national minimum wage;
  2. the right to paid annual leave;
  3. the right to sick pay;
  4. the right to minimum rest breaks; and
  5. whistleblowing protection.

Further Uber drivers will be able to claim back pay for such rights not received to date.

With tens of thousands of Uber drivers in the UK, this decision could lead to mass claims and significant expense for Uber, particularly now that it will have to rethink its business model.

This judgment is likely to have far reaching implications for the gig economy and other businesses that operate a similar model to Uber.

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