UK’s Supreme Court: Uber drivers must be treated as workers

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UK’s Supreme Court: Uber drivers must be treated as workers

February 23rd, 2021, Blog, Legal Updates

The decision could mean thousands of Uber drivers are entitled to minimum wage and holiday pay. The ruling could leave the ride-hailing app facing a hefty compensation bill, and have wider consequences for the gig economy. Uber said the ruling centred on a small number of drivers and it had since made changes to its business. In a long-running legal battle, Uber had finally appealed to the Supreme Court after losing three earlier rounds. Uber’s share price dipped as US trading began on Friday as investors grappled with what impact the London ruling could have on the firm’s business model. It is being challenged by its drivers in multiple countries over whether they should be classed as workers or self-employed. Last week the Supreme Court ordered that Uber drivers are not self-employed, rather they are workers.

This will have implications not only for Uber, but for the wider gig economy, which accounts for millions of people.

By being classed as a worker, rather than someone who is self-employed, an Uber driver will now be entitled to certain legal protections such as protection from discrimination and rights to rest periods.

The court also highlighted that in determining someone’s status, a tribunal should examine what is actually happening in the relationship and not just what is stated in any documentation.

So, calling someone self-employed in an agreement will not help if,  in reality, that person is a worker.

It is important, that employers review their contracts to ensure that they are accurate.

The law in this article is correct as of 23 February 2021.

If you have any employment law queries, please do not hesitate to contact David Nathan at [email protected] or on 020 7822 2247.

© 2021 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved. GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.



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