Uber Tribunal – the details

Uber TribunalMore details from the Uber Tribunal, an important case for the fast-expanding ‘gig’ economy……Updated January 2019.

At the end of October this year, an employment tribunal ruled that two Uber ‘test case’ drivers were not self-employed independent contractors but workers (for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996, the National Minimum Wage Act 1988, and the Working Time Regulations 1998).

The decision means the drivers are entitled to the national living / minimum wage, sick pay (SSP), holiday pay, rest breaks, protection under whistle-blowing laws, and pension contributions (under pension auto-enrolment laws). As freelancers, they had no legal right to these benefits.

You can read the full details in our blog here.

The Tribunal was ultimately critical of Uber’s terms and conditions using “fictions, twisted language and even brand new terminology”, which did not reflect the reality of the situation of how they actually employ their drivers (an example being a description that “Uber drivers are commission based…” , which Uber said was a typographical error).

The decision is by a first-tier tribunal and so not binding on other tribunals. However, it will have implications wider than just costs for the whole ‘gig’ economy, even though it was fact-specific to Uber’s business model. In November 2017, the Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed with the findings of the original ET and found that they were ‘workers’… Uber appealed to the Court of Appeal and this was heard in December 2018 – the CoA upheld the decision that Uber drivers are workers (although this was not a unanimous decision, one judge disagreed).  Uber have now been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court!!!

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2 Comments to "Uber Tribunal – the details"

  1. […] the recent Uber ‘worker’ decision, another employment tribunal has found that a bike courier working for CitySprint is also a worker […]

  2. […] on from the recent decisions about Uber and CitySprint, now a bicycle courier working for Excel has been declared a ‘worker’ […]

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