On 19 February, the UK Supreme Court confirmed an earlier decision by the Employment Tribunal that Uber drivers are employees and qualify for benefits such as minimum wage and paid annual leave.
In the matter, the Supreme Court assessed whether the agreements Uber concluded with drivers met statutory requirements of a “worker’s contract”, comprised of three elements:
- a contract whereby an individual undertakes to work or services for the other party;
- an undertaking to do the work or perform the services personally; and
- a requirement that the other party to the contract is not a client or customer of any profession or business undertaking carried on by the individual.
The tech and transportation giant had argued that its drivers are independent contractors. Although the Court recognised that the claimant drivers, in some respects, enjoyed a substantial measure of autonomy and independence, the Court also paid due consideration to the degree of control exercised by Uber, including price determinations and whether drivers could potentially market their own services.
Following this decision, it was announced earlier this week that Uber drivers operating in South Africa are set to launch a class action also pertaining to employee rights.
The Supreme Court judgement is accessible here.
Information on the class action in South Africa can be accessed here.
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