Keebles’ Employment Law team shares advice following the Uber employment case

As the Supreme Court has ruled that Uber drivers are workers and not self-employed, Beth Bearder, Senior Associate in our Employment team, has provided guidance for businesses on why this is a landmark case for employment law.

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Keebles’ Employment Law team shares advice following the Uber employment case

Beth says: “The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed Uber’s appeal that it acted as an agent for drivers. The Court has instead favoured the argument that Uber drivers are workers, and their working time includes all periods when they are logged into the Uber app, and ready and willing to accept trips, not just when driving a passenger.

“This decision has implications for workers’ entitlement to the national minimum wage, which is paid per hour, and also gives Uber drivers the right to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday each year. This is not a good judgment for Uber as the decision will result in drivers demanding back pay.

“The decision has a strong focus on legislation concerning workers’ rights as being ‘protection for workers in a subordinate and dependant position’. It has always been the case that a written contract is not the starting point, and the Supreme Court Judgment confirms this. An employment tribunal should examine the reality of the relationship between the parties (regardless of any “label”), otherwise protection of workers and their purpose is undermined.”

Beth also gives her advice to other employers who may be affected by the Supreme Court’s decision in what is considered a landmark case for employment law.

Beth adds: “Employers who engage in the gig economy business model need to be aware of the wide-ranging implications of this decision, especially in light of off-payroll working (IR35). This affects genuine self-employed business to business arrangements and is due to come into force on 6 April 2021.

“If in doubt, always take advice from an experienced employment law solicitor who can provide guidance as to what steps should be taken.”

To discuss specific cases of employment law in more detail, contact Beth at or call on 0114 252 7125.


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