Employment lawyer Katharine Robinson was interviewed by BBC Radio London following the Supreme Court’s ruling on Uber drivers.
Katharine explained how the ruling, which found Uber drivers are employees and not self-employed, would affect workers in the gig economy as well as employers who may now be at risk of employment tribunals.
“This decision means they are workers within the meaning of employment legislation and are therefore entitled to basic workers’ rights including holiday pay and the right to be paid the national minimum wage,” said Katharine.
“However, the Supreme Court ruling does not grant Uber drivers the same level of rights as employees and they won’t benefit from all wider employment rights such as the right to bring a claim for unfair dismissal against their employer.
“This ruling is good news for those in the gig economy who may now feel in a stronger position to question their employment status and demand any benefits they feel they are owed, particularly in cases where the relationship suggests employer and worker status.
“Employment status is a complicated area of law and isn’t clear cut – employers should review any arrangements they have in place for individuals they engage as self-employed contractors as they may be more accurately be described as workers.
“Following this ruling it is likely that more self-employed people will be questioning their status, putting employers at risk of tribunal claims for unpaid employee benefits such as holiday pay which, depending on how long the self-employed person has been engaged and how many there are, may be significant.”