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EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Reality check for Uber as its drivers are found to be workers

02 December 2016  

Anthony Sakrouge looks at the key lessons from Uber’s failure to convince the employment tribunal that its drivers are self-employed

The recent decision in what has been dubbed ‘the employment case of the year’ (Aslam and v Uber BV [2016]) again confirms employment tribunals’ willingness to disregard written contract terms where these do not reflect reality, adopting the Supreme Court’s approach in Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher [2011]. The decision has generated huge levels of interest, as few organisations divide opinion more than Uber, which was founded only seven years ago but is now said to be operating in more than 500 cities around the world. It is likely to have reassured those concerned about exploitation in the gig economy (so called because workers are paid per job, or ‘gig’, rather than per hour or month) but worried organisations with a similar business model to Uber.


Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    Aslam & ors v Uber BV & ors ET/2202550/2015

    Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher & ors [2011] UKSC 41

    Hospital Medical Group Ltd v Westwood [2012] EWCA Civ 1005

    Khan v Checkers Cars Ltd [2005] UKEAT/0208/05/DZM

    Mingeley v Pennock & anor t/a Amber Cars [2004] EWCA Civ 328

    Suhail v Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust [2015] UKEAT 0536/13/RN

Last modified on 05 December 2016