Worker or Self-Employed?
Uber Drivers Court Case & More
Published 23 July 2020
You may have seen Uber featured on the news more than usual this week – that’s because two separate Court cases are currently in progress against the ride-sharing company.
On Monday, UK-based drivers launched a legal bid seeking to gain access to Uber’s app data and algorithms. Under GDPR requests, the drivers wish to see the data that Uber collects on them and how this data is used to determine what jobs they are allocated. The case states that that data transparency is essential in checking whether there is discrimination or unequal treatment between drivers.
Then on Tuesday, Uber began its Supreme Court challenge against the previous landmark ruling that two former drivers, Yaseen Aslam and James Farrar, should have been treated as employees rather than self-employed.
The Courts previously ruled in favour of the drivers in 2016. A subsequent appeal by Uber was lost in 2018 and the firm have now appealed again to the UK Supreme Court. The Court will ultimately decide whether Uber drivers should be classed as workers and the decision will be binding.
Uber drivers and their unions say they are entitled to minimum wage, paid leave and other protections afforded to employees. Uber on the other hand say drivers are not workers but rather “independent, third party contractors”.
Debates surrounding the ‘gig-economy’ have been prevalent in recent years, affecting also couriers and food-delivery drivers. The sharp increase in online shopping and food/drink deliveries during the lockdown period, will no doubt bring these issue to the fore once again. Added into the mix now are potential ramifications on how personal data is used to determine specific job allocations.
How can we help…
If you are self-employed by a company but have concerns in regards to your job role and duty, they may need to revise your job status accordingly. You are likely to be deemed as an employee if:
You are not in control of when you work or how your work is performed
You are not doing work for other employers
You do not invoice the company; instead the company determines how much they will pay you
The company determines if and when you can have time off
The company provides some or all of the equiment required for you to carry out the work.
If you have concerns about your role, you should speak to your employer directly to address these issues. If you feel that a suitable resolution cannot be achieved, then you should seek legal advice from MKB Law. Our Employment team can help determine whether you have grounds for a claim. Bringing such a claim may result in back pay being issued and/or more favourable employment rights going forward.