The EAT has today agreed with the Employment Tribunal and has dismissed Uber’s appeal. The EAT said that when the Uber app was switched on, Uber drivers were workers for the purposes of their claims under the Employment Rights Act 1996, Working Time Regulations 1998 and National Minimum Wage Act 1998.
When drivers had the app switched on, they were obliged to be "able and willing to accept assignments", were subject to a requirement that they "should accept at least 80% of trip requests", and would suffer a penalty if they cancelled a trip once accepted. Those facts pointed towards a worker relationship and were inconsistent with the contractual documentation or a suggestion that drivers were self-employed.
The EAT also held that the Employment Tribunal was entitled to find that Uber London Limited was not acting as agent between the drivers and passengers. While the drivers did not have the app switched on all the time and were therefore not workers for Uber London Limited, that did not mean that they were not workers whilst the app switched on.
It is likely that Uber will appeal, and they may seek going straight to the Supreme Court so that they can be heard at the same time as the Pimlico Plumbers case.
Please note that this information is provided for general knowledge only and therefore specific advice should be sought for individual cases.
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