Fact Service March 2021

Issue 11

Victory as Uber admits UK drivers are workers

Years of pressure and union-funded court cases appear to have paid off, after taxi giant Uber announced that it will pay its 70,000 UK drivers a guaranteed minimum wage, along with holiday pay and pensions. The breakthrough comes a month after the company’s defeat in the Supreme Court (see Fact Service issue 8), which established that Uber drivers are workers and entitled to workers’ rights and protections.

That judgment was the fourth time the company had lost since the legal case began in 2016, when drivers assisted by general union the GMB first challenged the company. Uber’s announcement could now have far-reaching consequences across the gig economy.

For now the reclassification of drivers as workers by the company is unique to the UK, but further challenges are being mounted elsewhere (See Spain takes lead on gig economy workers’ rights, below).

Mick Rix, GMB national officer, commented: “Uber had to be dragged kicking and screaming to do the right thing, but finally they’ve agreed to follow the ruling of the courts and treat their drivers as workers.

“Other gig economy companies should take note - this is the end of the road for bogus self employment.”