Uber willing to change following historic decision
Hot on the heels of the hugely significant court ruling in Uber BV and others v Aslam and others, Uber has now publicly indicated that the company is “willing to change”, announcing that its 70,000 UK drivers will now be guaranteed a minimum wage, pension, and holiday pay.
The announcement follows last month’s Supreme Court unanimous ruling against Uber that determined Uber drivers were in fact workers – and not self-employed contractors – for the purposes of the relevant legislation. For some background and more detail on the Uber ruling, please visit our recent blog on the decision.
What does this mean for the ‘gig economy’?
Whilst workers do not automatically share all of the same rights as employees in the UK (key rights such as those related to unfair dismissal are excluded), the ruling is nonetheless an extremely important one that will have significant repercussions for those companies operating in the wider “gig economy” in the UK, particularly in relation to the difference in costs between engaging individuals as self-employed contractors, and engaging individuals as workers. Many gig economy companies deploying a similar structure to Uber may ultimately now be unable to continue operations as a result of the increased costs.
As part of the announcement, Uber pointed to the fact that the worker classification is a classification unique to UK employment law, and noted that it was now time for the remainder of the private-hire industry in the UK to essentially follow suit.
Whilst the immediate implications of the Uber case are beginning to be felt, it remains to be seen just what kind of impact the ruling will have on the wider gig economy going forward.
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If you require advice in relation to the classification of employees, please get in touch with a member of our team.
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