The landmark ruling could affect tens of thousands of people who work for companies will similar business models that operate in the gig economy such as Deliveroo.
Uber is a modern business phenomenon. If was founded in the USA in 2009 and its smartphone app was released the following year. It is a transportation networking spanning 400 cities in 68 countries. There are now about 30,000 Uber drivers operating in the London area and 40,000 in the UK as a whole. The organisation has some two million passengers registered to use its services in London.
Now that the Employment Tribunal has ruled that the Claimants are workers within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act 1996, this means Uber’s drivers will be entitled to a limited number of employment rights (but not which employees are entitled to). Amongst other rights, they will be entitled to:
- 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave each year
- A maximum 48 hour average working week
- Rest breaks
- The National Minimum and Living Wage
- Protection of the whistleblowing legislation.
As the workers are not employees, they will not be entitled to:
- The ability to claim unfair dismissal
- The right to a statutory redundancy payment
- The benefit of the implied term of trust and confidence
- The protection of TUPE, if Uber sells its business.
It is fairly certain this decision of the Employment Tribunal will be appealed by Uber, and potentially all the way to the Supreme Court.
Although the Tribunal’s decision is fact-specific and based on Uber’s business model, it increases the chance of other gig economy comanies facing claims that their contractors have worker status.
For more information about employment status or any other employment issues should not hesitate to contact Sally Morris on 01905 734032 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.