Uber drivers can be considered salaried “workers”, the UK Supreme Court ruled in a judgment released on Friday. She rejected the appeal of the American giant, whose economic model in the United Kingdom could be turned upside down.
The highest British court has unanimously ruled against the company, putting an end to this case launched in 2016.
This decision means that drivers should be entitled in particular to a minimum wage or to paid holidays. This decision could even constitute a case law for millions of people working in the so-called sharing economy (“gig economy” or “economy of odd jobs”).
The fight of twenty drivers
Uber went to the Supreme Court after losing twice, in 2017 and 2018, in court. But each time justice has ruled in favor of a group of about twenty drivers.
The latter felt they were entitled to employee status, given the time spent connected to the application and the control exercised by the group, in particular over their evaluation.
The company, it, ensured since the beginning of this long legal battle that its drivers are independent workers, choosing their schedules and places of work, and sometimes collaborating on several applications at the same time.
Possible compensation insight
This Supreme Court decision means that plaintiffs will be able to turn to a court for compensation. In theory, other drivers will in turn be able to apply to the courts to obtain employee status.
The platform, which is not profitable on a global scale, could have no other choice but to increase its prices in the United Kingdom, even if it means losing market share if its competitors are not subject to these same rules.
Uber “determined to do more” in UK
The American company has announced that it will respect the decision of the British Supreme Court.
She says she wants to now undertake wide consultation with her drivers in the United Kingdom but explains that she has already changed her practices since the start of this case.
Drivers can now choose when and where they drive and can access free health insurance, as well as compensation for parental leave.
Uber also promises to offer more protection to its drivers, while maintaining the status of self-employed.