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This article was published on February 19th, 2021
Today the Supreme Court ruled that Uber drivers should be classed as workers, rejecting Uber’s argument that it was simply a technology platform acting as a “booking agent” for the drivers by putting them in touch with passengers. This ruling means drivers are entitled to the minimum wage, paid holidays & union representation which they were unable to access while Uber classified them as self-employed.
The Judgment from the highest court in the land discarded the contractual arrangements in place and focused on 5 main points in establishing the truth of the relationship:
The Supreme Court concluded that drivers are ‘working’ when they log onto the Uber app and are ready and willing to accept bookings (i.e. when they are “on standby”) and this should be treated as paid working time with minimum wage being based upon their entire working day, not just when they had a rider in their vehicle. This judgment essentially means that self-employed people working for Uber would have the same rights as ordinary workers.
Although the new decision will only directly apply to the 25 drivers who brought the claim against Uber, it will set an important precedent and could open the door to many other similar claims against Uber with one National law firm predicting an average of £12,000 compensation.
Generally, for all monetary claims, the Limitation Act 1980 imposes a limitation period of six years (County Court), however, the Employment Tribunal can only consider the higher of back pay for two years prior to the date of the claim or £25,000.
If you would like further advice about the Court’s ruling that Uber drivers should be classed as workers or any other employment law or HR matter, please don’t hesitate to contact our Employment Law & HR team by clicking here.