The GMB Union has said it is celebrating the “massive win” for workers in the gig economy as a four-year battle with Uber saw the Supreme Court uphold the ruling by the Court of Appeal and the Employment Tribunal, and which paves the way for an end to “bogus self-employed status and no workers’ rights”.
The union says the decision by the Supreme Court now offers hope for GMB members working in the gig economy, who by way of their “bogus“ self-employed status, are currently denied workers’ rights meaning they very often earn less than the national minimum wage, do not get holiday pay or have decent terms and conditions.
GMB London is hopeful that Addison Lee, a company that claims that its drivers are ‘independent contractors’ will realise that the time has come for change by not pursuing an appeal, but adopt the employed status for its drivers as so clearly ruled by the courts.
Steve Garelick, GMB London Regional Organiser, said: “The time for change has come in how the world looks at worker rights and protections. GMB Union is proud to have been at the vanguard of cases such as this case Uber and for Hermes couriers in forging a new future for the emerging Gig economy.
“We would hope that Addison Lee would want to be part of this progression.
“However, GMB will use the full might of the legal system to gain the results that are now needed to maintain worker and employed rights.”
Liana Wood, a solicitor in the employment team at Leigh Day, said: “The Supreme Court’s decision will have huge ramifications not just for Uber drivers, but for everyone who is bringing a similar workers’ rights claim.
“We hope it will help Addison Lee to see that they are not justified in denying their drivers basic workers’ rights such as holiday pay and the National Minimum wage.
“This judgment signifies a significant shift in the treatment of gig economy workers. It’s time for companies like Addison Lee to class their drivers as workers so they can benefit from the rights that this status affords.”
GMB London have said they will continue to fight companies that operate using the “bogus self-employment model to exploit workers” by denying them the workers’ rights that they are entitled to by law.