Breaking news: Supreme Court rules Uber drivers are workers not self-employed

Michelle Hobbs, Employment Law Expert – Stevens & Bolton LLP

“Could this be the end of cheap taxis? Uber is now firmly in the fast lane to higher costs following the Supreme Court’s ruling that its drivers are workers and entitled to national minimum wage and holiday pay.

Now, Uber drivers really are in the driving seat and getting paid for it, as the Supreme Court has held that they are entitled to national minimum wage from the moment they switch on the app and are available to take passengers in their area, even if they are not actually at the wheel! For the estimated 5 million people who work in the UK gig economy, today’s decision is a steer in the right direction and towards better workplace protections.

“What’s more, with their new-found status, these drivers now have the right to bring discrimination claims against their multinational employer. Uber would therefore be wise to review all its practices and ensure there are not grounds for additional costly court cases!”

“However, for the thousands of other gig economy businesses, the decision is a devastating blow to their bottom lines, especially as most of them are already running on empty in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“Any business with a gig economy model should take heed today. This landmark ruling undoubtedly revs up the pressure on gig economy businesses to provide much better terms and conditions to those working for them.”

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