Uber drivers aren’t self-employed, UK court rules

uber Justin Spratt

In a case that could have far-reaching implications, a UK court has ruled that Uber drivers are not self-employed.

According to The Guardian, an employment court has ruled that Uber drivers are entitled to a “national living wage”.

Two drivers, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam (part of a group of 19 aggrieved drivers), argued that there was “tremendous pressure” to work long hours and that there were “repercussions” for a cancelled ride.

“The notion that Uber in London is a mosaic of 30 000 small businesses linked by a common ‘platform’ is to our minds faintly ridiculous,” the judges were quoted as saying in their ruling.

“Drivers do not and cannot negotiate with passengers… They are offered and accept trips strictly on Uber’s terms.”

On-demand services might need to splash out a bit more on their “self-employed” workers as a result of the Uber ruling

A legal representative for the drivers said the case could have a major effect on the gig economy.

“This is a ground-breaking decision. It will impact not just on the thousands of Uber drivers working in this country, but on all workers in the so-called gig economy whose employers wrongly classify them as self-employed and deny them the rights to which they are entitled.”

Tim Goodwin, a legal expert representing law firm Winckworth Sherwood, told the publication that the ruling could mean that paid holidays and a minimum wage could apply to similar businesses.

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