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Posted 7 November 2016
by Stephen Jennings

Case Update: Uber Drivers have Workers’ Rights – What Does it Mean for You?



In the recent case of Mr Y Aslam and others v Uber B.V and others, an employment tribunal held that two Uber drivers were ‘workers’ within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (‘ERA’).

As part of its defence Uber argued that it merely supplied its technology to the drivers and that there was no employment relationship. It further argued that the drivers were self-employed individuals who were running their own businesses and, as such, were third party contractors. The tribunal, however, disagreed and found that Uber drivers were workers and entitled to rights such as holiday, minimum wage and rest breaks (although not employee rights).

How does this affect your business?

It is very likely that this decision will be appealed so the position at the moment is unclear. It is also worth bearing in mind that Uber has a unique business model in the UK and this decision is fact-specific. Indeed, the tribunal made it clear that another business model may be able to satisfactorily treat drivers as self-employed contractors on a different set of facts. However this decision has the potential to apply to anyone who engages independent contractors and you could find yourself facing similar challenges and possibly demands for underpayment of wages and holidays. While a suitable contract for services is not definitive, it is a good start and we can assist with reviewing or drafting such agreements. Keep an eye on our employment blog for future updates.

For any advice, contact our specialist employment team on 01392 207020 or e-mail employment@tozers.co.uk.

 

 

 

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About the author

Stephen Jennings

Partner

Partner in the litigation department specialising in employment law, he is the relationship manager for many of the firm's employment clients