The UK Supreme Court has ruled that Uber drivers are ‘workers’

Taxi drivers can be considered ‘workers’, so they are entitled to a minimum wage, paid leave and rest breaks. This was decided by the British Supreme Court on Friday. This ruling could completely affect Uber’s economic model in the UK.

In 2016, twenty-five drivers were taken to court against Uber. So the taxi company is now losing the five-year war against its employees. Uber had gone to the Supreme Court after losing cases in 2017 and 2018.

The Supreme Court judges unanimously ruled that “the working hours of Uber drivers are not limited to the times they carry passengers.” “This includes all the time a driver is ready to sign in to the app and accept the rides.”

Uber has always said that drivers are self-employed, that they choose their work schedules and workplaces, and sometimes work with different applications at the same time. However, the judges ruled that the drivers Workers They are a specific British law that does not exist in Belgium, which does not correspond to our employee, but comes between an employee and the self-employed. Workers Has fewer rights than workers.

Drivers who file lawsuits can now go to court and claim compensation. More than a thousand similar cases that have been suspended pending a Supreme Court ruling could continue.

Snowball effect

The union GMB called the decision a “historic victory” on Friday.

Uber says in a response that it respects the Supreme Court’s ruling. “We are ready to do more and with all our drivers working in the UK we will find out what changes they want,” said Jamie Howwood, Uber’s CEO in Northern and Western Europe.

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In other countries, Uber has been embroiled in a legal battle over the status of its drivers. In November last year, another taxi service, Uber & Lift, won another referendum on the law in California. The U.S. government passed a new labor law requiring companies to hire drivers, but the referendum result made an exception to the Uber and Lift Act. The EU will issue guidelines by the end of the month to improve the working conditions of workers within the ‘kick economy’, which attracts workers who have little social security.

The Supreme Court ruling may rely on ‘kickworkers’ in the UK to throw snowballs at other sites. Suppliers of the food delivery platform Delivery are also seeking enforcement of the collective labor agreement through the Court of Appeals.

Following a complaint from Uber Driver, the FPS Social Security Employment Relations Committee also decided that he was not self-employed. However, that judgment only applies to the driver who made the complaint. Nothing will change for other Uber drivers.

Correction: Original version of this article The Supreme Court of England considers Uber drivers to be ’employees’, but it is not correct: ‘worker’ is not equivalent to employee, it is a specific British law. To us.

Ferdinand Woolridge

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