UK Supreme Court Stated That "Uber Drivers Are Workers Not Self-Employed". They Are Entitled To Minimum Wages And Holiday Pay.


On Friday 19, the UK Supreme Court ruled out that the Uber drivers are workers and not self-employed and they must be treated as such.

With this, the Uber drivers lift a hefty bill forcing the company to pay as a means of compensation.

James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, the former Uber drivers took the company to Supreme Court on whether they should be classified as a worker or self-employed.

In October 2016, the drivers won a tribunal against the ride hailing app.

After loosing three earlier rounds and the company price fell to 1%, the company had appealed to the Supreme Court.

In November 2017, the employment tribunal upheld the ruling after Uber first appealed against the tribunal employment.

The ruling on Friday was Uber's last appeal, as the Supreme Court is Britain's highest court.

"I think it's a massive achievement in a way that we were able to stand up against a giant," said Mr Aslam, president of the App Drivers.

"We didn't give up and we were consistent - no matter what we went through emotionally or physically or financially, we stood our ground."

Lord Leggatt gave out his judgement saying "that the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed Uber's appeal that it was an intermediary party and stated that drivers should be considered to be working not only when driving a passenger, but whenever logged in to the app."

Some elements of judgement was considered by the court.

1. Uber set the fare which meant that they dictated how much drivers could earn.

2. Uber set the contract terms and drivers had no say in them.

3. Request for rides is constrained by Uber who can penalise drivers if they reject too many rides.

4. Uber monitors a driver's service through the star rating and has the capacity to terminate the relationship if after repeated warnings this does not improve.

"This is a win-win-win for drivers, passengers and cities. It means Uber now has the correct economic incentives not to oversupply the market with too many vehicles and too many drivers," said James Farrar, ADCU's general secretary.

"The upshot of that oversupply has been poverty, pollution and congestion."

Mr Aslam, in reaction to the ruling said;

"It took us six years to establish what we should have got in 2015. Someone somewhere, in the government or the regulator, massively let down these workers, many of whom are in a precarious position," he said.

"We're seeing many of our members earning £30 gross a day right now," he said, explaining that the self-employment grants issued by the government only cover 80% of a driver's profits, which isn't even enough to pay for their costs.

"If we had these rights today, those drivers could at least earn a minimum wage to live on."

Rachel Mathieson, senior associate at Bates Wells, which represented Farrar and Aslam, said her firm's position was that the ruling applies to all 90,000 drivers who have been active with Uber since 2016.

"Our position is that the ruling applies to all of their drivers at large," she said.

"However, we don't think it stops there. The judgement today underscores some very important principles in respect to workers."