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Supreme court upholds earlier decisions that Uber drivers are workers

The Supreme Court has upheld previous decisions that Uber drivers are workers and not genuinely self-employed.

The impact of the decision will have far reaching consequences including:

  1. Entitled to claim minimum wage (including backpay for minimum wage), with their minimum wage claims being based upon their entire working day, not just when they had a rider in their cabs.

  2. Up to two years’ backpay (there is some doubt about this, it could be longer), or £25,000 (whichever is the larger) can be claimed in an employment tribunal, and up to six years’ backpay can be claimed in the county court.

  3. Claim 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave each year, and will have whistleblowing and similar rights.

However, as the judgment fell short of giving them employee rights, they are not entitled to a redundancy payment, unfair dismissal or other statutory rights attributed to employees.

Two key points in upholding the decision were:

  1. The reality of the relationship between the parties should be examined, and a tribunal is not bound by what the written documentation says.

  2. The drivers were workers from the time they switch on their apps and are available for work in their area, to the time when they switch off their apps for a break or at the end of the day.



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