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Uber drivers are workers, confirms Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed Uber’s final appeal, finding that Uber drivers are considered as workers.

Uber was appealing the earlier decisions of the Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, arguing that its drivers should be treated as self-employed contractors because they are able to choose where and when they drive.

The judgment has huge consequences for Uber. Now classed as workers, its drivers will be entitled to basic employment rights such as holiday pay, pension contributions, rest breaks, the National Minimum Wage (and the National Living Wage) and the protection of whistleblowing legislation.

The Supreme Court has also clarified that Uber drivers’ ‘working time’ includes all periods that they are logged into the app and willing to accept work in their area.

End of the gig economy?

The decision is likely to have major implications for the wider gig economy. The decision re-emphasises the importance of correctly assessing the status of self-employed contractors. An Employment Tribunal should examine the reality of the relationship between the parties, rather than simply relying on the contractual terms. The Supreme Court’s judgment is likely to shape all future cases concerning businesses that operate in the gig economy.

If you require any further information in relation to this case, or have any other employment law queries, please contact Sejal Raja on sejal.raja@rlb-law.com or Ben Dos Santos on ben.dossantos@rlb-law.com


Disclaimer

This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.

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