Calls for Clarity Over Who Can Claim Following ‘Landmark GIG Economy Ruling’

19 February 2021

Following a lengthy and well documented legal battle, the Uber drivers Supreme Court ruling means that drivers working for companies such as the international taxi technology firm should be attributed worker status. This means they are entitled to basic employment protections including the right to paid holiday of 28 days per year, rest breaks, and the national minimum wage. 

The landmark judgment is also expected to have significant implications for the wider gig-economy.

Gaynor Beckett, an Employment Law Specialist at leading national law firm Simpson Millar, said: “The Uber judgment opens the floodgates not just for drivers but for all those who worked for organisations defined as being part of the gig economy.

“Unsurprisingly, Uber has confirmed that it will appeal and this could go all the way to the Supreme Court. But given that the judgment relied on the facts on the ground, rather than an interpretation of the law, which is something the appeal court is reluctant to mess with. It is hard to see how Uber can win. 

With that in mind, these gig economy companies should expect a torrent of claims from individuals who want their employment rights afforded to them by this judgment towards true worker status.

However, the Employment Law world is still without clarity over how far back in terms of time workers will be able to claim, and that’s going to leave too much uncertainty for many thousands of workers for the foreseeable future.

This issue is to be addressed by the Employment Tribunal when The Supreme Court judgment is sent back for this specific determination.

For those individuals, and their families, the sooner the Employment Tribunal provide clarity on a timeline, and therefore confirmation regarding who will benefit from this judgment, the better.”

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