Last year, the private hire app, Uber, was taken to the London Employment Tribunal over the issue of employee’s rights. Uber had not considered its drivers to be employees at all, but rather self-employed private contractors.
This was until James Farrar and Yasmeen Aslam, two of their drivers, brought their case to the Tribunal. The pair argued that, as their actions were controlled by Uber, this meant they were employed by the firm and, as such, were entitled to holiday pay, rest breaks and the minimum wage. The tribunal ruled in favour of the drivers.
The company was sticking to its guns and appealed the judgement, stating that its drivers were self-employed and not obliged to use the platform.
This appeal was lost today, however, they have again promised to appeal against this ruling in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court (if they have to).
Uber and the Gig Economy
This comes as part of the move towards a ‘gig’ economy, whereby workers’ rights become less and less secure as flexibility becomes the focus of employers.