London employment tribunal says Uber drivers are workers, not self-employed

A London employment tribunal has ruled that Uber drivers have the right to be classed as workers, rather than self-employed. In the UK, being a worker comes with several perks, including holiday and sick pay, paid rest breaks, and the national minimum wage. The new rules will apply to the 40,000 Uber drivers in England and Wales.

As you can imagine, Uber, which wants to keep costs low as possible, has stated that it will appeal the ruling that it had acted unlawfully. Nigel Mackay, from the law firm Leigh Day, which represented the two drivers (Mr Farrar, and Mr Aslam) in the tribunal, said:

“This judgment acknowledges the central contribution that Uber’s drivers have made to Uber’s success by confirming that its drivers are not self-employed, but that they work for Uber as part of the company’s business. This is a ground-breaking decision, It will impact not just on the thousands of Uber drivers working in this country, but on all workers in the so-called gig economy whose employers wrongly classify them as self-employed and deny them the rights to which they are entitled.”

The Government’s Department for Business said that it wants to keep employment rules up-to-date so that they reflect the new ways of working. It has commissioned an independent review into “modern working practices” to help keep rules updated. Opposition MP, Jack Dromey, told the BBC that:

“Uber are going to have to fundamentally rethink how they operate in this country.”

Although this is a big win for proponents of workers' rights, it may take a while until we hear the ruling of Uber’s appeal to the decision.

Source: BBC News

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