London Mayoral candidate, David Kurten, has said the Supreme Court’s judgement which ruled that workers driving for ride-sharing firm Uber should be entitled to employee rights, is a victory for workers everywhere and should create a fairer market in the taxi and private hire industry.
Kurten, who is the Heritage Party Leader and London Assembly Member, told TaxiPoint: "It is excellent news that the Supreme Court judged in favour of workers in the Uber gig economy case. Uber should never have been able to claim that it is licenced by TfL as a private hire operator, but also that is only a ‘technology platform’ or a ‘booking agent’ that does not employ its drivers. This is a victory for workers everywhere.
“We now need a return to a fair market, where taxi drivers and small and medium sized minicab operators can operate on a level playing field. With Uber now having to pay its workers the minimum wage and holiday pay, a fairer market should also naturally reduce the number of vehicles registered to Uber which will help to unclog London’s roads.
“It is also quite right that it should no longer be able to avoid paying VAT like other operators and taxi drivers. The judgment is a win for all Londoners."
On Friday 19 February, the United Kingdom Supreme Court handed victory to Uber drivers in their six-year battle for worker rights including the right to earn the minimum wage and holiday pay.
Tens of thousands of Uber drivers can now claim the right to be classed as workers after the Supreme Court handed down its judgment.
Uber claimed that drivers are ‘partners’ and so not entitled to the rights normally given to workers, such as paid holiday and the right to be paid at least the minimum wage. However, the Supreme Court agreed with the Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal that drivers are ‘workers’ rather than self-employed independent contractors. In his judgment, Lord Leggatt wrote: “The employment tribunal was, in my view, entitled to conclude that, by logging onto the Uber app in London, a claimant driver came within the definition of a ‘worker’ by entering into a contract with Uber London whereby he undertook to perform driving services for Uber London.”