THIS WEEK: Supreme Court to hear historic workers’ rights case against Uber

This week ride-hailing firm Uber will learn whether they must provide its drivers basic workers’ rights, which includes holiday pay and the minimum wage for the hours they work.

Legal action is being brought by Uber drivers, represented by law firm Leigh Day, who argue that Uber should provide its drivers with paid holiday and ensure they are paid at least the minimum wage.

The hearing at the Supreme Court starts tomorrow (21 July) and is expected to last two days.

In October 2016, the Employment Tribunal ruled that Uber drivers are workers and entitled to workers’ rights.

The ruling was upheld by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in November 2017 and the Court of Appeal in December 2018.

If the drivers succeed at the Supreme Court, the case will then return to the Employment Tribunal which will decide how much compensation drivers are entitled to.

Leigh Day believes tens of thousands of Uber drivers could be entitled to an average of £12,000 each in compensation.

Leigh Day were first enlisted by trade union GMB to work the case on behalf of Uber drivers.

Nigel Mackay, a partner in the employment team at Leigh Day, said in May: “Uber is soon going to reach the end of the road in its fight to stop its drivers being given workers’ rights.

“If Uber loses, it will have no other option but to compensate those drivers who have brought claims for failures to provide holiday pay and where the company has paid them below the minimum wage.

“Now more than ever we have seen how difficult it can be for Uber drivers, many of whom have put themselves at risk by continuing to drive during the lockdown for those who need them for essential journeys. Yet Uber continues to deny its drivers basic workers’ rights.

“We believe that it’s clear from the way Uber operates that its drivers should be given workers’ rights. From the amount of control it exerts over them, to the ratings system is uses to assess performance. These circumstances all point to Uber drivers being workers.”

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