The Supreme Court has handed down its decision in Uber v Aslam, reaching the same conclusion as earlier courts; that Uber drivers are ‘workers’. This decision highlights that any attempt by organisations to draft artificial contracts aimed at side-stepping basic protections will be deemed void and unenforceable.
The decision in Uber v Aslam means that Uber drivers are entitled to claim minimum wage (including back pay for minimum wage), with their minimum wage claims being based upon their entire working day, not just when they had a rider in their cabs. They can also claim 5.6 weeks of paid annual leave each year and will have whistleblowing and similar rights.
This judgment does not give them ‘employee’ rights, such as the right to a redundancy payment or to claim unfair dismissal. It will be interesting to see in the future if the law provides for gig workers to also have access to sick pay and protection from unfair dismissal.
“This ruling will fundamentally re-order the gig economy and bring an end to rife exploitation of workers by means of algorithmic and contract trickery. Uber drivers are cruelly sold a false dream of endless flexibility and entrepreneurial freedom".