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Posted by on in Employment Law
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Uber Drivers File Action to Become Employees

Uber employees have taken legal action in an attempt to become employees of the controversial taxi company.

Currently under the contracts offered by Uber, those operating for Uber are self-employed contractors. However, an employee claim is seeking to change their status to employees of the company rather than such contractors. As a contractor, Uber were able to not have the same employment rights in place that other taxi companies had, thus leading competitors to claim that they had an advantage, especially regarding finances.

Employee or Contractor? The Uber Case

The action currently underway in the UK is being seen across the world as Uber expands with multiple cases occurring across the US. The legal action sees drivers look to clarify whether they are really employees or contractors. In most countries, including the UK, a contractor has very few employee benefits in comparison to those defined as an employee. This in turn has led many of those working for Uber to state that their status is unfair.

Those currently under the Uber banner are arguing that they are entitled to a “worker status” a unique law in the UK that is effectively between an employee and self-employed. Under this title workers would be guaranteed the vast majority of rights that employees currently have in the UK and would see Uber drivers obtain the national minimum wage, paid holidays, limits on night work, and the right to paternity and maternity leave. While Uber provides drivers and workers with flexibility, the representation of those seeking clarification state that the case is simply looking to obtain basic rights for the worker.

Currently, Uber drivers are paid based on the time they work and the fare they obtain which can fluctuate each week rather than providing them a basic pay rate. Although the case is not expected to go in front of a judge for at least a year, it could prove to be a landmark case in the UK.

An Uber spokesman stated: "The main reason thousands of professional drivers choose to partner with Uber is so they can become their own boss, pick their own hours and work completely flexibly. In fact, many partner-drivers have left other lines of work and chosen to partner with Uber for this very reason.

He added: “Two-thirds of new partner-drivers joining the Uber platform have been referred by another partner because they love the freedom and flexibility the service provides."

Employment Rights Glasgow: Contact Us

There are a number of rights that employers must provide employees in the UK such as minimum wage, maternity leave and basic health and safety conditions in the workplace. If you are unfairly dismissed for demanding one of your basic rights, or if you are dismissed for questioning workplace policy you could be entitled to compensation. Furthermore, if your workplace is not providing you with the minimum wage or any other issue you could take legal action.

To find out if you could take legal action against an employer get in touch with one of our employment specialists today using our online contact form.

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