Auto-enrolment 

Uber drivers entitled to workers’ rights

Uber drivers entitled to workers’ rights

Uber drivers are entitled to workers’ rights, which means they should be paid holidays, a minimum wage and be auto-enrolled in a pension scheme, the Court of Appeal has stated.

In a ruling handed down yesterday (December 19), the Court of Appeal agreed with two previous judgments that Uber had been wrong to classify its drivers as independent contractors.

The case had initially been brought to the Central London Employment Tribunal by two lead claimants, Yaseen Aslam and James Farrar, supported by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), which in October 2016 had ruled in the drivers' favour.

Uber then took their case to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), which ruled against the ride-sharing company in November 2017.

IWGB stated yesterday’s decision from the Court of Appeal would put further pressure on Uber to abide by UK employment law and start classifying its drivers as workers.

However, the judge granted Uber permission to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

Mr Aslam said he was delighted with the ruling, but "frustrated that the process has dragged on for over three years".

He added: "It cannot be left to precarious workers like us to bring companies like Uber to account and despite the personal price we have had to pay, we are the lucky ones.

"We know of many that are under such hardship, that it would be unimaginable for them to take a multi-billion pound company to court. It is now time for the government and the Mayor of London to act and stop letting companies like Uber take them for a ride."

Additional claimants are also being supported by union GMB.

Tim Roache, GMB general secretary, said: "We’re now at a hat trick of judgements against Uber, they keep appealing and keep losing. Uber should just accept the verdict and stop trying to find loopholes that deprive people of their hard won rights and hard earned pay."

In a similar case recently, the High Court had sided with Deliveroo, saying its riders couldn’t be classed as members of staff as they were able to turn down work and pass jobs to other riders.

Earlier this week the government committed to implementing a number of recommendations made in Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices.

These included closing a loophole that had allowed agency staff to be paid less than permanent employees, introducing new calculations for holiday pay and increasing the maximum fine employers face at a tribunal from £5,000 to £20,000.

Further work on pensions for the self-employed is currently underway.

maria.espadinha@ft.com