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Uber drivers are workers holds EAT

Posted on 13th November 2017
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On Friday 10 November the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the original decision of the Employment Tribunal that the Uber drivers are workers and are not self-employed running their own independent businesses.

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Simon Quantrill Simon
Managing Partner Telephone: 01473 688100

Uber tried unsuccessfully to argue that it was acting as an agent for the drivers

Why did Uber lose again on appeal?

On appeal Uber tried unsuccessfully to argue that it was acting as an agent for the drivers. The EAT had little time for Uber’s attempt to rely on this commercial contract concept when trying to avoid liability for statutory rights and benefits given to workers, such as paid holidays and the national minimum wage rates of pay.

The EAT agreed with the tribunal’s approach and conclusions about the merits of the claim. The tribunal was right to determine the true nature of the relationship between the drivers and Uber, having regard to all the circumstances, including the way Uber imposed its control over how the drivers were to operate and perform their work.

Importantly, the EAT said the tribunal was correct in its conclusion that the Uber contract terms and conditions, did not reflect the reality of the relationship. In particular the drivers were not in business on their own account, in a contractual relationship with the passenger every time they accepted a trip. Instead the drivers were workers, providing personal service with no right to provide a substitute, working under the control and direction of Uber.

What happens next?

Uber have said they will appeal to the Supreme Court. Good luck with that is what I say!

For me, the EAT’s decision did not come as a surprise, especially when looking at other recent decisions such as the Court of Appeal case of Pimlico Plumbers or the Addison Lee mini cab case.

How safe is your business model?

This second Uber decision is another reminder for you to check your contractual and working arrangements with your so called self-employed contractors or casual workers.

Call me to discuss how I can help you work out your current risk factor and your options for change.

Employment Tribunal Decision

To read our case summary from November 2016 of the original Employment Triunal decison and why Uber lost the arguments click here.

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