Following on from our last blog regarding delivery and courier drivers and whether they are workers or self-employed. The Employment Tribunal delivered their Judgment on 28th October on the case by the two Uber Drivers (Mr Aslam and Mr Farrar).
The core issues were whether the Claimants were “workers” for the purposes of the various definitions under the domestic legislation. Uber accepted that the Tribunal had jurisdiction, they also accepted that the Working Time Regulations applied to the Claimant’s provided they are workers as defined.
They also accepted that the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 (NMWA) would apply to any claim against Uber London Limited provided they were workers. They did say that the ERA and the NMWA would not apply to any contract with Uber Britannia Limited and that the Dutch Law would apply.
It was argued by the Claimants that because of Ubers degree of control over their work that they were workers under the Employments Rights Act 1996. The Employment Tribunal held that the contractual documentation between drivers and Uber “bears no relation to reality” and was not “a contract at arm’s length between two independent business undertakings”. Uber claimed that they acted as a kind of agent or introductory service which gave the drivers the introduction to clients, however the reality was that the drivers worked “for”, not “with” the company.
The Employment Tribunal agreed with the claimants and found the drivers to be ‘workers’.
The decision means that the drivers will be entitled to a number of employment rights including:
- The right to paid annual leave (5.6 weeks’ per year);
- The right to be paid the National Minimum Wage/ National Living Wage;
- protection under the working time regulations i.e. a maximum 48-hour week and rest breaks and
- Protection of the whistleblowing legislation.
There are already other similar cases involving courier services and Deliveroo Drivers which could be decided in a similar way. The decision in the Uber case is a first instance decision and is very likely to be appealed. It will be very interesting to see how all of these claims are progressed.
Should you have any queries about the above decision and how this affects you or indeed any other employment issue speak to Deborah Francis at Burt Brill & Cardens who specialises in Employment Law. For an initial chat contact Deborah on 01273 604123 or email email@example.com