Uber exciting

legal_updates

19 Uber drivers challenged Uber’s position that they were self-employed.

Author: Jason Williams
Published:
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 4 years old.

Read our disclaimer keyboard_arrow_down

This website content is intended as a general guide to law as it applies to the motor trade. Lawgistics has taken every effort to ensure that the contents are as accurate and up to date as at the date of first publication.

The laws and opinions expressed within this website may be varied as the law develops. As such we cannot accept liability for or the consequence of, any change of law, or official guidelines since publication or any misuse of the information provided.

The opinions in this website are based upon the experience of the authors and it must be recognised that only the courts and recognised tribunals can interpret the law with authority.

Examples given within the website are based on the experience of the authors and centre upon issues that commonly give rise to disputes. Each situation in practice will be different and may comprise several points commented upon.

If you have any doubt about the correct legal position you should seek further legal advice from Lawgistics or a suitably qualified solicitor. We cannot accept liability for your failure to take professional advice where it should reasonably be sought by a prudent person.

All characters are fictitious and should not be taken as referring to any person living or dead.

Use of this website shall be considered acceptance of the terms of the disclaimer presented above.

Many of you may use Uber as a cheap way of getting around but did you know the controversy surrounding Uber and the ‘employment case of the year’ ? It may also have significant repercussions for many car dealers and anybody they use for work on a self-employed basis.

19 Uber drivers challenged Uber’s position that they were self-employed. They said that they should be considered workers for Uber and therefore entitled to their full employment contractual rights. In July 2016 the Employment Tribunal agreed with the Uber drivers saying that because of the model Uber used they should be considered as a worker and not self-employed. They are therefore now entitled to holiday pay, rest breaks, national minimum wage and other contractual benefits.

This was hugely controversial as it could have massive implications for many self-employed persons. Some Uber drivers don’t even want to be considered as workers and are quite happy being ‘self-employed’ by Uber. The Uber drivers who bought the claim say they do not have full control over their working arrangements and these are largely controlled by Uber. The opposing argument is that they are not supplied with a vehicle, can choose their own hours and do not have to work if they don’t want to. Despite having full control of when they worked if the Uber drivers were on standby they could be considered to be working as they were required to be available. It was argued that if you were truly self-employed you would be able to turn down any work you wanted.

Each case is likely to be dealt with on a case by case basis and would consider many factual questions such as does the ‘worker’ have a start and finish time, are they able to refuse work, do they have a uniform and many other questions to determine if they are technically self-employed. Tribunals will look beyond the term self-employed to see the actual status of the person and so it may be worth seeking advice if you use people to carry out work on this basis.

Uber have recently been given permission to appeal this decision and the case is likely to be heard in September. We will keep you up to date.

Jason Williams

Legal Advisor

Read more by this author

Getting in touch

You can contact us via the form or you can call us on 01480 455500.