Cab firm Uber has been given permission to appeal a ruling made in 2016, that its drivers have worker status.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal will determine whether the Uber drivers are ‘workers’, and therefore entitled to receive the National Minimum Wage and holiday pay.
Background to the Uber case
Two drivers originally brought the case against Uber, with the support of the GMB union. The drivers claimed that they were not self-employed and should have workers’ rights. However, Uber claimed that the drivers were self-employed, not workers or employees, so were not entitled to l workers’ rights and benefits. Uber argued that 76% of its drivers preferred self-employment and to choose their own working hours.
The tribunal acknowledged that the drivers sometimes worked when they were on standby. Working without having to accept specific jobs, might be an area that Uber bases its appeal on.
Impact on gig economy employers
Many gig economy employers will have an interest in the results of Uber’s appeal. The outcome could see them changing their own business models. If the EAT uphold the original decision, then the flexibility and independence that accompanies many gig economy jobs could disappear.