• Robert Spicer

UBER AND THE SUPREME COURT

In July 2020 the Supreme Court heard the appeal of Uber BV and others against Aslam and Others. The issues in the appeal were whether Aslam and others came within the definition of “workers” who provided personal services to Uber London Ltd and, if they were defined as “workers”, the extent of their working time. Uber BV, Uber London Ltd and Uber Britannia Ltd are a group of companies which provide private hire vehicle booking services. Services are booked through the companies’ smartphone app, connecting drivers to passengers. Aslam and others are drivers who use that app. They argued that they were “workers” within the scope of the following: · Employment Rights Act 1996 · National Minimum Wage Act 1998 · Working Time Regulations 1998. They claimed that they were entitled to legal protections including the national minimum wage and leave with pay. It was argued on behalf of Uber BV and others that Aslam and others were independent contractors. At first instance, the employment tribunal decided as follows: · Aslam and others were workers. · They were working whenever they had Uber’s app switched on, were in the area where they were authorised to work, and were able and willing to accept passengers. On appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, these decisions were confirmed. Uber BV and others appealed to the Supreme Court. It is difficult to overestimate the significance of the anticipated decision of the Supreme Court. For employment lawyers, it may be described as one of the most important landmark employment-related cases for many years. For thousands of workers whose self-employed status is unclear, the case is crucial. We have awaited the decision of the Supreme Court since July 2020.


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