The London Employment Tribunal has ruled that Uber drivers should be classed as workers rather than self employed, meaning they qualify for holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the National Minimum Wage.
Uber is to appeal against the ruling, having argued that its drivers were not employees but self-employed contractors.
The GMB union is calling the decision a “monumental victory”, while it’s believed it could affect tens of thousands of people who work for companies with similar business models such as Deliveroo.
Maria Ludkin, legal director at the GMB, which brought the case, told the BBC it “will have a hugely positive impact on drivers… and for thousands more in other industries where bogus self-employment is rife.”
Solicitor Alex Bearman, partner at Russell-Cooke told the Telegraph the ruling was bad news for the company and others operating in the so-called “gig economy”.
“The company now faces having to fund costly benefits for its drivers such as holiday pay, sick pay and pension contributions. It is possible that it will look to do so by increasing the percentage of each fare that it keeps as commission,” said Bearman.
Jo Bertram, regional general manager of Uber in the UK, added, “tens of thousands of people in London drive with Uber precisely because they want to be self-employed and their own boss.
“The overwhelming majority of drivers who use the Uber app want to keep the freedom and flexibility of being able to drive when and where they want. While the decision of this preliminary hearing only affects two people we will be appealing it.”