Uber taxi drivers have “worker” status and qualify for workers rights.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has today handed down its decision upholding the Employment Tribunal ruling in October 2016.
This means that the Uber taxi drivers continue to have entitlement to workers rights including paid holiday, rest breaks in accordance with the Working Time Regulations 1998 and national living wage entitlements.
The original Employment Tribunal case was referred to as the ‘UK employment law case of the year.’ It followed a legal challenge from a group of 19 drivers who took the company to the Employment Tribunal in London, arguing that they should be recognised as workers as opposed to self-employed.
The case centred on two aspects; the control that Uber had over its drivers and the nature of the business itself. Uber’s position was that it was simply a technology company and did not provide a transport service; it was just the electronic conduit between the taxi drivers and its customers. Uber claimed to have no control over its drivers, who could work when and for how long they wanted to work.
The drivers claimed that they were actually workers on the basis that they were controlled by the company, as they had to follow customer instructions, and that Uber were involved in every aspect of the process of what they did.
The drivers succeeded with their case at the Employment Tribunal last year and the decision today re-affirms this decision to give them worker status was correct.
In an age of the “gig” economy, this decision and todays reaffirmation of this is monumental and ground-breaking.
It is now inevitable that similar cases will be brought against other companies who work within a similar employment framework.
It is also possible that delivery companies such as Yodel, Hermes and UK Mail may need to look into how they classify their workers.
Today’s decision is major employment law news and further evidence that employment law is changing within today’s digital world.
If you are an employee unsure of your employment status or an employer, business owner and/or HR personnel requiring advice in relation the employment status of staff, please get in touch with one of our highly trained and experienced employment law professionals who can provide expert and up to date advice and guidance on a range of employment issues.