Uber drivers - Emma-Louise Hewitt
Image Source: Emma-Louise Hewitt
Uber Drivers - Emma-Louise Hewitt
Sydney Mitchell LLP

Member Article

Uber Drivers – What are drivers new rights following Supreme Court ruling?

Many of you may have already heard that the Supreme Court handed down its decision regarding the status of Uber Drivers. This matter was determined by the courts previously who held that Uber Drivers were workers, however it was then referred to the Supreme Court (Uber v Aslam).

The decision was handed down and the same conclusion reached as the earlier courts, i.e. Uber Drivers are workers. But exactly what does that mean? asks Emma-Louise Hewitt, Head of Employment Law at Sydney Mitchell.

In short, this means that Uber Drivers, as workers are entitled to certain rights which they were not entitled to previously as they were deemed as self-employed sub-contractors by Uber. So with this new status there are new rights, including:

  1. They are entitled to claim minimum wage (including back pay up to 2 years but there is some uncertainty about this, it could be longer);
  2. They are also entitled to claim 5.6 weeks paid annual leave each year;
  3. Protection under the Working Time Regulations regarding rest breaks and maximum working week (unless opted out but also subject to restrictions concerning hours driving); and
  4. Protection for making a protected disclosure (whistle blowing)

Workers do not have the same rights as employees such as the right to claim unfair dismissal or the right to a redundancy or statutory payments. Claims regarding status should not just be taken on face value, i.e. what is written in the documentation between the parties, but real consideration needs to be given as to how the relationship works between the parties, namely the reality of what actually happens and not just what the paperwork says. We can all have documents in place, but as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words! This is true in most status claims.

Emma-Louise Hewitt, added:

Over the next few months, I am sure there will be a number of claims coming through the Tribunals and even the Civil Courts (depending on the amount and length of the deductions). Uber Drivers looking to recover monies owed need to take advice to understand how to go about this - sooner rather than later.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Sydney Mitchell LLP .

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