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Uber – The final chapter?

Uber has lost its appeal against an Employment Tribunal ruling that its drivers should be classed as workers rather than self-employed.

In October 2016, the Employment Tribunal held that Uber drivers were workers and not self-employed. The significance of this case was that the drivers were entitled to holiday, sick pay and the right to be paid the national minimum living wage.

This was the first of a series of cases which considered employment status in the gig economy.  Subsequent cases included Deliveroo and City Sprint in which the Employment Tribunal also held that the individuals who were classed as self-employed were indeed workers.

Uber appealed the Employment Tribunal’s decision.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal held today that the drivers are deemed to be workers. This is a significant decision impacting 40,000 drivers and a number of organisations that engage self employed contractors.

The Court of Appeal earlier this year rejected an appeal brought by Pimlico Plumbers following a decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal that Mr Smith was self-employed but was held to be a worker. Pimlico Plumbers has been granted permission to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court, so this is not the final chapter on this highly topical issue.

We will be holding a breakfast seminar early next year to review this decision and what steps organisations should be taking in the meantime. If you would like to receive an invitation, please email to register your interest.

If you have any questions regarding this article please contact:

Sejal Raja
Partner and Head of Employment
T. 020 7227 7410

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