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Worker Status Confirmed for Uber Drivers

Thursday 20th December | News

Uber’s appeal against a landmark tribunal ruling in 2016 has been unsuccessful following a judgment handed down in the Court of Appeal yesterday (19 December).

Uber drivers shall continue to be classified as workers, directly employed by the company, and will be in receipt of all the employment law protections that this affords.

The appeal was lodged by Uber to overturn a 2016 Tribunal ruling that the hire-on-demand driver service should treat its drivers as workers not as self-employed as argued by the firm. The original decision was upheld after the judges reached a 2 -1 majority decision – finding in favour of the workers.

Uber’s contention was that its drivers should be treated as self-employed, in a similar way to that in which taxi drivers and other private-hire vehicles are. In Britain, the self-employed are not able to access basic employment-law protections such as for example the right to a minimum wage, paid holidays, sick pay and rest breaks.

The above benefits carry significant costs, which Uber’s business model has attempted to circumvent by misclassifying drivers as self-employed when in reality, on the facts and as re-confirmed by yesterday’s judgment they are workers. Uber has however introduced a number of benefits to its drivers this year (for example pairing up with insurance giant AXA to provide partner protection insurance for its European drivers in the event of injury, sickness and family leave) and its position is that the drivers enjoy the flexibility that the role offers, and that on average its drivers earn much more than the minimum wage.

You can read more on our CLB Employment Solutions blog: here.

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