Worker Status: Employment Appeal Tribunal find that Uber Drivers are ‘Workers’

30-11-2017

The EAT agreed with the employment tribunal that when the Uber app was switched on, Uber drivers were workers for the purposes of their claims under the Employment Rights Act 1996, Working Time Regulations 1998 and National Minimum Wage Act 1998. When drivers had the app switched on, they were obliged to be “able and willing to accept assignments”, were subject to a requirement that they “should accept at least 80% of trip requests”, and would suffer a penalty if they cancelled a trip once accepted. Those matters were indicative of a worker relationship and inconsistent with the contractual documentation or a suggestion that drivers were in business on their own account. The tribunal was entitled to find that Uber London Limited was not acting as agent between the drivers and passengers. While there may be “gaps” when the drivers did not have the app switched on and were not workers for Uber London Limited, that was not “fatal to their status as ‘workers’ when they did”. It is likely that Uber will appeal, and they may indeed seek a leapfrog appeal to the Supreme so this case can be heard at the same time as the Pimlico Plumbers case.


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