Uber drivers win case for ‘worker’ status

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A London employment tribunal has ruled that Uber drivers should be considered workers, not self-employed contractors, as the company has argued.

This decision is ground-breaking, as it means the 40,000 Uber drivers in England and Wales will be entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks as well as the national minimum wage.

While those advocating a contractor status argued that drivers for Uber enjoy the freedom and flexibility of being their own bosses, those in favor of the ruling have stated that it has exposed the flaws of an on-demand economy where workers are not paid the minimum wage and do not receive benefits such as paid holidays.

TUC General secretary Frances O’Grady commented:

"What is happening at Uber is just the tip of the iceberg. Lots of people are now trapped in insecure jobs, with low pay and no voice at work. We need the government to get tough on sham self-employment.”

While the ruling is important for the status of Uber drivers, the same result cannot necessarily be expected for other workers of the ‘on-demand economy’ - each determination will be case dependent.