Uber driver’s given worker status

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Uber could be facing a hefty amount of backdated employment claims after a tribunal upheld a ruling that saw drivers as workers rather than self-employed.

In a judgement from last year, a tribunal ruled that two Uber drivers were workers, meaning they are entitled to holiday pay, rest breaks and at least the minimum wage. The most recent tribunal upheld this previous decision.

Uber says that it is planning to appeal this ruling.

The tribunal said any of the 40,000 drivers registered in London who used the Uber app switched on, acted under a ‘worker’ contract and therefore are entitled to workers rights.

The GMB union named the victory as a ‘landmark decision’ that allows drivers to have rights as they are entitled to.

Tom Elvidge, Uber UK’s acting general manager, said the majority of private hire and taxi hire companies have had ‘self-employed [workers] for decades’, and that drivers use Uber because they value the freedom to choose when they drive.

He added: ‘The tribunal relies on the assertion that drivers are required to take 80% of trips sent to them when logged onto the app. As drivers who use Uber know, this has never been the case in the UK. Over the last year we have made a number of changes to our app to give drivers even more control. We’ve also invested in these things like access to illness and injury cover and we’ll keep introducing changes to make driving with Uber even better.’

If this story is making you consider your rights as an employee, or the rights of your workers as an employer, contact our specialist employment law solicitors today by emailing anthony.kay@dbsplus.co.uk or by calling 0800 157 7055.

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