LONDON – Uber drivers are entitled to a variety of labor rights, including the minimum wage, Britain’s Supreme Court ruled on Friday. It upheld a previous ruling made by an employment tribunal from 2016.
UK Supreme Court Says Uber Drivers Entitled to Workers’ Rights
Uber argued that it is a technology platform connecting approved drivers with customers via its app. However, the Supreme Court disagreed and unanimously dismissed its appeal. Amongst other things, the judgment pointed at the system whereby riders leave a rating for drivers, describing it as “a classic form of subordination that is the character of employment relationships.”
“We respect the Court’s decision which focused on a small number of drivers who used the Uber app in 2016,” said the firm’s Northern and Eastern Europe boss Jamie Heywood told Reuters. “We are committed to doing more and will now consult with every active driver across the UK to understand the changes they want to see.”
What Now For The Gig Economy?
Such decisions clearly have the potential to impact Uber’s ‘gig economy’ business model, and the issue in the UK has been rumbling for some time. There has been industrial action by Uber in the UK in recent years, as well as opposition to the ride-hailing service from drivers of traditional London Black Cabs. Back in 2017, London’s transport regulator even declined to renew its license.