The gig economy has exploded in the last decade. Many multi-national companies such as Uber, Amazon, Deliveroo, and Airbnb have built their wealth on the back of it. There are over 5 million people working in the UK’s gig economy, but change is in sight.
On 21 July, Uber ventured to the UK Supreme Court, to decide once and for all, whether their drivers are considered “workers” under the Employment Rights Act 1996, National Minimum Wage Act 1998, and Working Time Regulations 1998.
Previously, the Court of Appeal found in favour of the drivers and held that they were entitled to the lucrative bunch of employment rights, including National Minimum Wage, holiday pay and paid rest periods. If the Supreme Court decide the same, then Uber can expect a slaughtering with large volume of claims for backdated pay coming their way (quite possibly in other major cities too!).
Uber continues to argue that their drivers are self-employed as the app is simply providing a booking and payment service, as an agent for the drivers, and that the contract is between the driver and any passengers for each ride.
Please see below a video where I discuss the gig economy, its significance and Uber in Supreme Court.