Uber should give new recruits full workers’ rights, lawyers say
Lawyers for over 4,000 Uber drivers who successfully brought a workers’ rights claim against the company are urging Uber to give all drivers full workers’ rights.
Posted on 29 April 2021
Lawyers for over 4,000 Uber drivers who have successfully brought a workers’ rights claim against the company are urging Uber to give all drivers, including 20,000 new recruits, full workers’ rights for all the time they are working, and not to pick and choose how it applies the recent Supreme Court decision to its drivers.
Uber announced today that it plans to recruit 20,000 more drivers to meet the demand from hospitality venues reopening after lockdown. The announcement comes two months after Uber was defeated in the Supreme Court in the legal case regarding workers’ rights for its drivers.
On 19 February 20121 the Supreme Court ruled that that drivers for Uber are ‘workers’ rather than self-employed independent contractors. This entitles them to rights normally given to workers, such as paid holiday and the right to be paid at least the minimum wage. The case will now return to the Employment Tribunal which will decide how much compensation drivers are entitled to.
Uber initially stated that the Supreme Court’s ruling only applied to the 25 drivers who originally brought a claim. Last month it finally appeared to have accepted that all of its drivers are workers. However, solicitor Nigel Mackay of law firm Leigh Day said that Uber is only giving drivers limited workers’ rights whilst they have accepted passengers and not whilst they are waiting for rides. The Supreme Court ruled that drivers should be given worker’s rights in relation to all the time that they are working, including when they are logged on and ready and willing to accept passengers.
Law firm Leigh Day, which represents over 4,000 drivers, believes that tens of thousands more drivers could be eligible to join the claim, including the 20,000 new recruits, if they are not given full workers’ rights.
Nigel Mackay, solicitor from law firm Leigh Day, said:
"We are urging Uber to give all drivers, including their new recruits, full workers’ rights in accordance with the Supreme Court’s ruling. This means giving these rights for all of the time that they are working, not just when they have accepted passengers.
“The Supreme Court has already ruled that Uber drivers are workers and it is time that Uber applied this ruling in full across all its drivers, new and old, to give them the rights they deserve.”
Nigel is a leading employment and discrimination lawyer. He is co-head of the employment department, alongside Emma Satyamurti