Uber drivers entitled to workers’ rights following landmark Supreme Court case


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In the ground-breaking case, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Uber drivers involved are workers, not self-employed contractors. Up to 40,000 Uber drivers in the UK may be affected by this case, and if you have been an Uber driver at any point since 1 July 2015, you could be owed money.

What is the Uber minimum wage case about?

UK workers are entitled to the National Minimum Wage and holiday pay, but Uber has never given its drivers these payments. Instead, Uber argued that its drivers were not employees, but self-employed contractors who use its technology. However, on 19 February 2021, the Supreme Court rejected this argument. The Supreme Court therefore agreed with the Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal that drivers are ‘workers’ rather than self-employed independent contractors.

As a result, Uber may have to pay its drivers back pay to cover any shortfall, and the correct wage going forward. The decision could also have much wider repercussions and could open the way for other gig economy workers to come forward and make similar claims.

Keller Lenkner UK believes that Uber should now recognise its broader cohort of drivers as workers and treat them accordingly.

What did the Supreme Court say?

The Supreme Court upheld a previous employment tribunal decision (and two subsequent appeals) that ruled that Uber drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, amongst others, were workers and entitled to holiday pay and the Minimum Wage.

Crucially, the Supreme Court also ruled that Uber must consider its drivers workers from the time they log on to the Uber app within the territory in which the driver was licensed to operate and was ready and willing to accept trips, until they log off. Previously, Uber had said that, if forced to treat drivers as workers, it would only count the time when a passenger is in the car.

Uber is unable to appeal this judgment.

What should Uber drivers do now?

The Supreme Court decision does not mean that drivers will automatically get compensation from Uber for historic unpaid holiday pay or National Minimum Wage. They must make a claim to recover these sums. The case will now return to the Employment Tribunal which will decide how much compensation drivers are entitled to. Keller Lenkner UK is bringing a  ‘no-win, no-fee’ group action case to hold Uber to account for underpaying its workers, and to get back what they are owed. We are also collaborating with ADCU, the App Drivers & Couriers Union which represents and supports App Based drivers in the UK.  This is the leading trade union for gig economy workers and, amongst other things, leads the fight for a better future for all Uber drivers. It brings together Uber drivers from across the UK to strengthen and protect their rights as drivers.
We can reassure you it is against the law for Uber to fire a driver for joining our claim against them.

Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting new clients and you are not able to sign-up to the claim with us. If you have any questions, we would be happy to discuss.

In February 2024, our firm changed its name from Keller Postman UK to KP Law.

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