‘A MONUMENTAL victory!’ the GMB union declared yesterday as the London employment tribunal ruled against Uber and in favour of the workforce who are now entitled to holiday pay, sick pay and the National Minimum Wage.
The London Employment Tribunal ruled that Uber acted unlawfully by not providing drivers with basic workers’ rights. The case hinged on whether Uber workers are considered ‘self-employed’ or not. Maria Ludkin, GMB Legal Director, said: ‘This is a monumental victory that will have a hugely positive impact on over 30,000 drivers in London and across England and Wales and for thousands more in other industries where bogus self-employment is rife.
‘Uber drivers and other directed workers do have legal rights at work. The question for them now is how those rights are enforced in practice. The clear answer is that the workforce must combine into the GMB union to force the company to recognise these rights and to negotiate fair terms and conditions for the drivers. This loophole that has allowed unscrupulous employers to avoid employment rights, sick pay and minimum wage for their staff and costing the government millions in lost tax revenue will now be closed.’
Nigel Mackay, Leigh Day employment lawyer, said: ‘We are delighted that the Employment Tribunal has found in favour of our clients. This judgment acknowledges the central contribution that Uber’s drivers have made to Uber’s success by confirming that its drivers are not self-employed but that they work for Uber as part of the company’s business.
‘Uber drivers often work very long hours just to earn enough to cover their basic living costs. It is the work carried out by these drivers that has allowed Uber to become the multi-billion-dollar global corporation it is. We are pleased that the employment tribunal has agreed with our arguments that drivers are entitled to the most basic workers’ rights, including to be paid the National Minimum Wage and to receive paid holiday, which were previously denied to them.
‘This is a ground-breaking decision. It will impact not just on the thousands of Uber drivers working in this country, but on all workers in the so-called gig economy whose employers wrongly classify them as self-employed and deny them the rights to which they are entitled.’