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Supreme Court rules that Ubers drivers are classed as workers

Stuart Roberston blue L website

The Supreme Court has today issued its decision in the high profile “Uber” case.  The case, which centred on whether Uber drivers are  “workers”,  has been covered extensively by the media during its progress through the Tribunal and Court system.

The decision of the Supreme Court is that a tribunal should examine the reality of the relationship between the parties and not be bound by what the documentation states.  This is particularly important for all businesses who use contractors, not least because we have the new IR35 regime coming in on 6 April 2021.  On the basis of the “reality” of the relationship between Uber and its drivers, the tribunal was entitled to find that Uber drivers are ‘workers’ and not self-employed subcontractors

There are several consequences of the decision. Firstly, Uber drivers, as workers, will enjoy certain benefits and protections which they would not enjoy as sub-contractors, albeit without the full range of rights available to employees including redundancy and unfair dismissal.

Secondly, drivers can claim minimum wage (including back pay) based upon their entire working day, not just for the time when they had a passenger in their car, and can claim 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave each year, which again can be backdated.

Although the decision might not be much of a surprise, it should be a wake-up call for those businesses that do use contractors. This is the time to look a bit more critically at those relationships to ensure you are not going to fall foul of a similar situation within your own business.  We are happy to advise any business on when it would be appropriate to use contractors and when it could be a risk.

If you would like further information regarding the topics discussed in this blog, please contact:

Stuart Robertson by email: srobertson@gilsongray.co.uk or by phone: 07793 821 523 / 0141 433 7752

Graham Millar by email: gmillar@gilsongray.co.uk or by phone: 07841 920 102 / 0141 530 2023

You can also visit our Employment Law Team page by clicking here

The information and opinions contained in this blog are for information only. They are not intended to constitute advice and should not be relied upon or considered as a replacement for advice. Before acting on any of the information contained in this blog, please seek specific advice from Gilson Gray.

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