Human cloud, ride-sharing firm Uber Inc. lost a landmark legal case last month in the UK Supreme Court and must classify its drivers as workers rather than self-employed workers.
The breakthrough decision will have ramifications throughout the UK gig economy as it means Uber drivers will now be entitled to the same benefits, minimum wage and holiday pay as employees.
The case started in 2016 when London drivers Yaseen Aslam and James Farrar filed a lawsuit against Uber over their employment rights, claiming that they should be recognized as employees and should be entitled to benefits. A London tribunal then ruled in favor of the drivers that same year.
However, Uber had appealed that ruling, but lost that as well as subsequent appeals.
The ruling could mean that UK drivers may be owed further compensation.
The Supreme Court judgment emphasized five aspects of the findings made by the employment tribunal that justified its conclusion that the claimants were working for and under contracts with Uber.
- Where a ride is booked through the Uber app, it is Uber that sets the fare and drivers are not permitted to charge more than the fare calculated by the Uber app. It is therefore Uber that dictates how much drivers are paid for the work they do.
- The contract terms on which drivers perform their services are imposed by Uber and drivers have no say in them.
- Once a driver has logged onto the Uber app, the driver’s choice about whether to accept requests for rides is constrained by Uber.
- Uber also exercised significant control over the way in which drivers deliver their services.
- Uber restricts communications between passenger and driver to the minimum necessary to perform the particular trip and takes active steps to prevent drivers from establishing any relationship with a passenger capable of extending beyond an individual ride.