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Following a ruling by a London employment tribunal, Uber drivers have won the right to be classed as workers instead of being class as self-employed. This means that Uber drivers will now be entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the national minimum wage.

In this blog post, Gorilla Accounting will be taking a look at the recent tribunal findings which has a serious affect for Uber drivers.

The Results

Reports following an employment tribunal agreed with two drivers that Uber drivers were not self-employed, and should receive the same benefits as a full time employee.

There are over 40,000 Uber drivers in England and Wales. The GMB union has said the decision was a “monumental victory” for those 40,000.

General secretary Frances O’Grady described the result by saying: “For many workers the gig economy is a rigger economy, where bosses can get out of paying minimum wage and providing basics like paid and rest breaks.”

O’Grady continued by saying: “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.”

Backlash from Uber

Whilst on the surface, the result may be beneficial for thousands of Uber drivers, there has been some backlash from many involved with Uber.

Jo Bertham, Uber’s UK manager, said: “Tens of thousands of people in London drive with Uber precisely because they want to be self-employed and their own boss. The overwhelming majority of drivers who use the Uber app want to keep the freedom and flexibility of being able to drive when and where they want.”

An Uber spokesman said: “The ruling would affect the two drivers that were the test cases in the tribunal. However, while we appeal this judgements drivers that use the Uber app remain independent and able to choose when and where they drive.”

What happens next?

As explained, with over 40,000 Uber drivers in the UK, there is mixed opinions on the result. Becoming self-employed, you are able to experience the flexibility of working different hours and various other benefits. But there may also be some disadvantages for example; you would not be entitled to the same benefits as a full time employee.

It has been reported that Uber will take the case to the employment appeal tribunal and dependant on the decision, there could potentially be further action.

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