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The HR Implications of The Uber Verdict

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What are the HR implications now that the taxi firm Uber has lost an appeal at the Employment Appeal Tribunal against a ruling that its drivers should be treated as workers rather than self-employed?

Last year a tribunal ruled drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam were Uber staff and entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the minimum wage under the current HR legislation.

Uber appealed, arguing its drivers were self-employed and were under no obligation to use its booking app.

Today, the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the Employment Tribunal’s original decision that any Uber driver who has the Uber app switched on was working for the company under a "worker" contract.

As a worker they are entitled to the following benefits:

  • getting the National Minimum Wage
  • protection against unlawful deductions from wages
  • the statutory minimum level of paid holiday
  • the statutory minimum length of rest breaks
  • to not work more than 48 hours on average per week or to opt out of this right if they choose
  • protection against unlawful discrimination
  • protection for ‘whistleblowing’ - reporting wrongdoing in the workplace
  • to not be treated less favourably if they work part-time

Uber will no doubt appeal and possibly will join with Pimlico Plumbers who have a similar case coming in front of the Supreme Court in the first half of 2018 This Employment Appeal Tribunal’s ruling is consistent with every other ‘gig’ economy finding so far.

It has HR implications for anyone employing, so called “subcontractors”.

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