UK Supreme Court Rejects Uber’s Appeal and Rules Uber Drivers Are Workers

The United Kingdom Supreme court has upheld the original ruling of the tribunal stating the drivers of the rideshare platform, Uber, are workers, awarding them benefits such as minimum wage and holiday pay. The Supreme Court found Uber to hold more power or control in the worker-platform relationship. 

5 Reasons the Supreme Court Ruled Uber Drivers Are Workers

  1. Uber sets and dictates the amount of money a driver can earn per ride.
  2. The contract terms are determined by Uber and are inarguable by driver.
  3. Uber constrains the driver’s choice in accepting rides once logged into the app which is done by monitoring the driver’s acceptance rates and giving penalties which can lead drivers to be logged off for 10 minutes if they decline and cancel too many rides.
  4. Uber controls the execution of the services with significant control. One way is through the rating system (1 to 5) where drivers receive warnings upon their rating following below that of the average rating and their relationship with Uber may be terminated if it does not improve.
  5. The communication between the driver and passenger is restricted by Uber to only the necessary amount to complete the task.

Dating back to 2017, Uber lost an appeal to a UK employment tribunal where the tribunal ruled in favor of drivers being workers of the platforms rather than self-employed contractors. The case was brought to the tribunal by two drivers, Aslam and Farrar. Farrar argued that drivers were earning approximately £5.68 or 15% below the UK minimum wage after commission and operating costs. Uber went on to appeal to the Supreme Court in a last-ditch effort to have drivers of the platform classified as self-employed contractors.