Thursday, 17 November 2016

Landmark ruling opens flood gates

A landmark tribunal verdict that ruled that Uber drivers are employees and not self-employed has opened the flood gates, according to a Telford solicitor.

The employment tribunal found in favour of two drivers who argued that they were in reality “employed as workers and should benefit from the minimum wage, holiday pay and sick pay”.

And now Gemma Workman, who is an employment lawyer at Martin-Kaye Solicitors, said the result could bring in hundreds, if not thousands, of similar claims for companies all over the UK.

“This case is one of the biggest in the land of employment law given its implications – it’s as high profile as the British Gas case that ruled commission payments should be included in holiday pay calculations.

“And, just like the British Gas case, the fallout from this ruling is expected to run on for some time.”

Gemma said the ruling meant that Uber drivers would now be classed as workers and would be entitled to paid holiday, a maximum 48-hour working week – subject to an opt out agreement – and the national minimum wage.

“The two drivers were test cases selected by the GMB Union and law firm Leigh Day to represent the claims of 19 Uber drivers – and now, following their success, hundreds more claims are expected to follow.

“The case is important for all kinds of companies across the UK who claim to link freelancers or small businesses with customers and yet say they are not employers themselves.

“Uber has said it will appeal the ruling, but it’s obvious this isn’t over – watch this space,” she said.