UK Supreme Court rules that Uber drivers are ‘workers,’ not independent contractors
Legal experts said the unanimous decision could give a major setback to the company’s business model in one of its most important markets, and open the door for drivers, claiming to pay minimum wage and time off.
The court said on Friday that the group of Uber drivers who brought the case An employment tribunal Were not independent contractors because their activities were “very tightly defined and controlled by Uber”. The judge cited the company’s rent control and said how it determines the contractual conditions on which drivers render their services.
The lawsuit against Uber was first filed by Yasin Aslam and James Farrar at a British employment tribunal in 2016 when both men were driving for Uber. Aslam worked for another company, but said he was lured to Uber by attractive salaries and bonuses.
But Aslam claimed that the monks quickly dried up as more drivers joined the platform, resulting in fewer rides and lower fares. The pair of drivers prevailed at the Employment Tribunal and then in two subsequent appeals by the company.
“I am deeply affected and very relieved by this decision, which will bring relief to many workers in the gig economy who desperately need it. During the six years of these proceedings, we have looked at the Government Commission and then reviewed Has reviewed. The gig economy still does nothing to help us, “Aslam said in a statement on Friday.
The case now goes back to the Employment Tribunal, which could order Uber to pay compensation to about 20 original claimants. Thousands of more Uber drivers have taken legal action against the company, and the decision can be quickly applied to them. Drivers using the platform at the time of the suit may also be eligible to claim compensation.
The court also ruled on Friday that the drivers had been working since the time Uber turned on the app, not just while carrying passengers, as the company argued. This decision can have significant consequences for how a company conducts business and how many drivers allow it on their app.
Uber said in a statement that it was “committed to doing more and they will now consult with every active driver in the UK to understand the changes they would like to see.”
“We respect the court’s decision that focused on a small number of drivers who used the Uber app in 2016. Since then we have made some significant changes to our business, guided by drivers in every way. There is even more control over control. How they earn and provide new protection such as free insurance in case of illness and injury, “said Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe.
An important market
The decision is a significant defeat for Uber in the United Kingdom, where it has come under pressure from labor activists and transport regulators. Most of the action has taken place in London, one of the most important cities in the world for the US tech company.
Uber said before the epidemic that 3.5 million Londoners regularly use its app and claimed 45,000 drivers in the capital. But the company has repeatedly disputed with regulators in the city over safety issues.
Philip Landau, an employment lawyer at Landau Law in London, said Friday’s decision would have wider implications for how Uber treats its UK workers. They, for example, entitled to “Claim The national minimum-wage is based on their entire working day, not when they boarded their cab, ”he said.
“Unless other drivers ‘contracts and set of circumstances dictate what the tribunal has considered, this opens Floodgate to similar claims if Uber no longer pays its drivers contemplative to their’ employee status Huh,” .
Just a few months after a UK court ruling, California’s Uber and other gig economy companies are required to vote to exempt them from state laws, because they need to classify their contractors as employees rather than independent contractors Is required.
By being classified as employees, workers will receive minimum wages and benefits such as sick leave and unemployment insurance. Uber and other gig economy veterans like DubDash and Instacart spent more than $ 200 million publicly advocating for the exemption.
Before being handed over to the UK regime, Uber said it was committed to do anything for better results for its drivers.
“We believe that all independent employees deserve to earn a decent salary,” Uber CEO Dara Khosroshahi wrote in a blog post.
He added, “We are calling on industrialists, other platforms and social representatives to move quickly to structure flexible earning opportunities, with industry-wide standards that make all platform companies available to independent workers needed.”