Last year, you may recall hearing about the landmark Employment Tribunal (ET) decision which declared that Uber drivers were not self-employed but were in fact “workers.” This was a significant decision as many employment law rights are available to “workers” (not to the self-employed) such as an entitlement to receive the national minimum wage and paid annual leave. Uber challenged this decision in the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) and on Friday discovered that they had lost their appeal as the EAT upheld the decision of the ET. However, it seems this is not the end of the story as Uber have declared that they will challenge this further.
So why is this so important? Well, depending on your perspective this decision could be good or bad news. Some commentators welcome this decision viewing it as a victory for the “little man” over a large company intent on exploiting their staff and denying them basic employment law rights. On the other hand, some are concerned that this ruling denies them the flexibility that they enjoy as self-employed individuals. As for Uber, this of course could prove very costly indeed and has implications for other employers in different sectors who operate a similar model.
The issue of status and whether someone is a worker or self-employed can be tricky and will involve considering many factors. If you as an individual or business owner require further advice on this tricky issue, please contact us at Talem Law.