Ruling could affect thousands working for similar firms
The employee tribunal case which ran today has ruled that Uber drivers are considered workers who are not self-employed.
This means they are entitled to the minimum wage along with sick and holiday pay.
Uber’s defence was that the drivers were self-employed which meant they weren’t entitled to any of the benefits.
The result has been described as a “monumental victory” by the GMB Union.
The ruling could potentially affect thousands of workers in similar roles.
Steven Eckett, employment solicitor at Gardner Leader solicitors, said that the ruling would affect the Gig economy: “The employment tribunal’s decision today certainly sheds clarity on the employment status of this new breed of ‘freelancer’ currently fuelling the growth of the UK gig economy. However, consequences of the judgment is likely to result in increased costs to the gig industry in order to comply with the new employment laws, and it’s probable that these will be passed on to the consumer, such as through higher fees, delivery rates and prices for goods and services. The service industry like couriers, fast food delivery companies and portable cleaning operators are likely to be hit the hardest.
Uber has stated that it will appeal against the decision made by the London Tribunal.
Jo Bertram, Uber’s UK manager, told Sky News: “The overwhelming majority of drivers who use the Uber app want to keep the freedom and flexibility of being able to drive when and where they want.
“While the decision of this preliminary hearing only affects two people we will be appealing it.”
James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam were the two drivers fighting for their rights believed they were controlled by Uber, which meant they would be employed by the firm but had no basic workers’ rights.
Farrar said his earnings after expenses in August 2015 were just a mere £5.03 an hour.
Aslam no longer works for the company.