Uber loses Supreme Court case in gig economy test case

In a landmark ruling that has implication for millions working in the gig economy, Uber has lost its Supreme Court  fight over drivers' rights.

After a 4-year legal battle, the Supreme Court ruled against the taxi app company, concluding their drivers should be classed as workers, not independent third-party contractors. The ruling means that Uber drivers are entitled to basic employment protections, including minimum wage and holiday pay. Uber has roughly 60,000 drivers in Britain and the decision could pave the way for Uber drivers to claim compensation to the tune of thousands of pounds.

The decision is likely to have ramifications for other firms operating in the gig economy under a similar business model in which people often work for multiple companies on a job-by-job basis.

The decision backs up earlier decisions made in the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal. However, for many Uber drivers the fight is far from over - the judges did not rule that all drivers are workers, only the ones bringing the case. The  decision will now revert to the Employment Tribunal for a ruling on the precise application of the law.

For expert advice on all aspects of employment law including settlement agreements, disciplinary and grievance issues, discrimination, unfair dismissal and redundancy, please contact James Hodgson or Maureen Cawthorn at our Halifax office on 01422 339600.