UK Supreme Court decides drivers are “workers”Having lost its initial Employment Tribunal case brought by a couple of Uber drivers, Uber took the decision through every appeal process it could find, ending up in the UK Supreme Court, where it finally lost.
Uber persisted in its claim that it was merely a technology provider that matched up individuals who needed transportation to drivers who were offering transport. The UK Supreme Court, on 19 February 2021, finally rejected Uber’s arguments and confirmed the drivers’ status as being “workers”.
The claim by the drivers at the original employment tribunal was that they were “workers” and, because of that, were entitled to minimum pay, holiday pay and sickness pay.
The dismissal of Uber’s appeal by the UK Supreme Court is the final ruling on the matter and that means all Uber drivers are now considered to be “workers”. This flies in the face of Uber’s argument that the drivers were all self-employed. This means, being “workers”, the drivers are entitled to be paid minimum wage for all the hours they’re logged on to the Uber App – not just the time they’re driving a fare. They are also entitled to holiday pay and to sick pay.
As a result of this decision, drivers and former Uber drivers, are entitled to have these payments backdated from the day they started working with Uber up to a maximum of 6 years! Te UK Supreme Court judgement has considerable implications for the wider gig economy. Those businesses who exert the types and levels of control exercised by Uber over those they engage to work for them, should expect those people to be characterised as “workers”. The self-employed argument clearly no longer holds.
The Press Summary of the judgement is available here. You can read the full UK Supreme Court judgement by clicking here. If you require any assistance with an employment issue, please get in touch