Uber has lost its final appeal in the UK regarding its driver’s employment status, in a ruling that will have a significant impact on the UK’s self-employed and Gig economy workers.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK has 4.3m self-employed workers which is about 15% of the UK workforce.
The original case against Uber was brought in 2016 by two drivers. They argued that Uber controlled nearly all the aspects of their working conditions, including who they could accept for rides and how much they would be paid.
In essence, the drivers argued that they were being treated as employees but were not receiving the statutory benefits granted under employment status.
Uber had already lost three cases against the drivers in 2016, 2017, and 2018. But this month’s judgement from the UK Supreme Court is the end of the road for Uber’s legal path. The dispute will now go to a specialty tribunal, which will decide how much to award the drivers. Uber also faces another 1,000 similar claims that had been stayed pending today’s ruling.
In practical terms, it means that Uber will need now need classify its 70,000 drivers as workers which means the Company must now apply the statutory minimum wage of £8.91 per hour from April (from £8.72 currently) for all workers aged 23 and over.
In addition, PTO will be paid fortnightly at a rate of 12.07% of worker’s earnings and Uber must automatically enrol its drivers in its company’s workplace pension scheme and contribute of 3% of workers’ qualifying earnings, subject to the employee contributing 5%.
The company’s share price fell from USD 59.14 on Wednesday’s to USD 55.69 at close of trading on Thursday.