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Uber drivers are ruled workers by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has ruled (19 February 2021)  that Uber drivers must be treated as workers rather than as being self-employed which means thousands of drivers are set to be entitled to receive the national minimum wage and holiday pay. This ruling is likely to have wider consequences for the so-called gig economy and other businesses that operate with similar models.

In the ruling Lord Leggatt said that the “Supreme Court unanimously dismissed Uber’s appeal that it was an intermediary party and drivers should be considered to be working not only when driving a passenger but whenever logged in to the app.”

The Court has considered a number of factors in this ruling which includes:

  • Uber set the fare which meant they dictated how much drivers could earn.
  • Uber set the contract terms and drivers had no say in them.
  • Request for rides is controlled by Uber who can penalise drivers for rejecting rides.
  • Uber monitors a driver’s service through the customer rating system and can terminate their relationship if they do not improve.

Amanda Finn, Partner at Gullands comments: “This is an important ruling in what has been a very long case and it demonstrates that it is very important for businesses to understand the status of the people working for them and to get it right to avoid a potentially costly bill in the future, as well as ensuring that they receive the correct levels of pay, benefits and treatment according to their employment status.”

If anyone has any queries about their employment status or that of their workers, I am happy to provide advice and support.

Amanda Finn can be contacted at