Employment Status of Uber Drivers

David Reid
13th Dec 2016

An interesting case on employment status that was heard by the Employment Tribunal this year was the case of Aslam and others v Uber BV.

 

A number of Uber drivers brought claims for unlawful deductions from wages, as a result of a failure to pay the national minimum wage, and for a failure to provide annual leave, arguing that they were entitled to these rights by virtue of being workers. Uber argued that this should not be the case, and that they were simply a technological platform that put drivers in touch with passengers and that, as a result, their drivers were self-employed.

 

The Employment Tribunal held in this case that Uber drivers should be classed as workers, rather than being self-employed.

 

As a first instance decision, the judgment is not binding on other Employment Tribunals. The decision may also be appealed. However, the point about this case that can be stated with relative confidence is that where someone does work for another party (in this case Uber), they must do the work personally and the other party is not a ‘client’ of theirs, they will have ‘worker’ status, entitling them to the benefit of protections such as minimum wage, rest breaks and paid holidays.

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