Courts Rule Entirely Against Uber's Casual Worker Employment Model

By Gary Cutlack on at

The UK courts seem to have ruled against the very existence of and core concept behind Uber, with the latest decision in the long-running set of legal cases over driver rights landing very firmly in favour of the workers.

Or the staff, as we should now say, as the UK's top judges have backed a previous ruling that said Uber drivers should have access to paid holidays and qualify to earn the minimum wage, just like they are doing a job for a real company.

The judges thought there's a huge contradiction in the very core of Uber's approach, explaining: "...to be stating to its statutory regulator that it is operating a private hire vehicle service in London and is a fit and proper person to do so, while at the same time arguing in this litigation that it is merely an affiliate of a Dutch-registered company which licenses tens of thousands of proprietors of small businesses to use its software, contributes to the air of contrivance and artificiality which pervades Uber's case."

So you can't be a taxi firm then pretend no one works for you. This, as you might expect, is not the end of it. There's one final boss level of UK judges Uber has been told it can appeal to, with the supreme court the next stop for its team of freelance lawyers.

Uber made a statement on the matter, saying: "Almost all taxi and private hire drivers have been self-employed for decades, long before our app existed... If drivers were classified as workers they would inevitably lose some of the freedom and flexibility that comes with being their own boss." [Guardian]