Uber drivers have won worker rights and the right to the national living wage.
A landmark employment tribunal ruling decided today that the 40,000 Uber drivers in the UK are not self-employed.
This landmark decision will not only have huge financial implications for Uber and its drivers, who will now be entitled to holiday pay, the national minimum wage, limited working weeks, rest breaks and the right to protection when whistleblowing, but also the many other companies which operate within the so-called gig economy. They will now have to review their business model or face a deluge of similar claims from workers.
It’s important the law keeps pace when technology allows companies to radically reshape the way people work. The case, which was brought by the GMB union on behalf of the drivers, will set a very significant precedent. The case will undoubtedly be appealed, as Uber has already confirmed, but for now, it’s one - nil to the drivers.
What worker rights Uber drivers have has been questioned for over a year now. We first wrote about it, when a ruling stated that Uber drivers are employees in California in ‘Are Uber Drivers Employees or Contractors?’ and then again in 'Uber Under Fire Again in the Contractor vs Employee Debate' which signalled the beginning of this case. Now have the outcome, or at least, the first stage of it. No doubt, we’ll be writing about the Uber again as this case winds its way through the UK appeal courts
Confusion around the employment status of Uber driver has wider implications. For example, if you’re an Uber passenger and you are injured in a ride can you bring a personal injury claim against the company? A difficult question which we answer in Can I Claim if I’m Injured in an Uber Taxi Collision?
If you are uncertain of your employment status read our blog: Am I an Employee? What Does This Mean?
Whatever your employment status you can contact the employment solicitors at Slater and Gordon for legal advice on employment law issues. Call us any time 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online.
Julie Morris is a senior employment lawyer at Slater and Gordon in London.