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Uber drivers are “workers”, says the Supreme Court

23 February 2021

The Supreme Court has ruled Uber must classify its drivers as workers rather than self-employed contractors, with experts saying the decision will have far-reaching consequences for the wider gig economy.

Previously, Uber drivers were only paid when they had a customer in transit. They did not receive ANY paid annual leave. All that has now changed due to the court’s decision handed down last week.

The Supreme Court upheld an earlier employment tribunal ruling that Uber’s drivers are ‘workers’ under the Employment Rights Act 1996 and have the right to minimum rates of pay under the National Minimum Wage Act and the right to rest breaks and paid holiday under the Working Time Regulations.

As workers, they are also entitled to 5.6 weeks of annual leave for each full year of work (or pro rata if they have been an Uber worker for less than a whole year).

This means that all Uber drivers are entitled to claim national minimum wage, including back pay*, for the whole time they are/were logged in to the Uber App.  They can claim two years back pay (possibly more) or £25,000 in the employment tribunal, whichever is larger, or up to six years back pay in the county court. They can also claim 5.6 weeks paid annual leave each year.

PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH US, if you are a gig worker or a self-employed contractor, or if you have staff in this category.

We will help you determine your employment status, what rights apply and whether any back pay is or could be due. We can assist with updating any of your contractual documents, plus we can also assist in any employment tribunal claims for back pay.

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