Uber owes UK workers up to £20,000 each after failing to comply with court ruling Uber owes UK workers up to £20,000 each after failing to comply with court ruling

Uber owes UK workers up to £20,000 each after failing to comply with court ruling
07 Nov 2018

Uber's failure to pay out following a UK Employment Tribunal’s ruling reportedly means its drivers are now owed as much as £20,000 (US$26,070) each.

The ride-hailing service provider has so far refused to recognise a two-year-old ruling, which stated that its drivers should be classified as ‘workers’ rather than ‘self-employed’, entitling them to the minimum wage, holiday pay, and regular rest breaks.

Challenging accusations that the company was involved in unfair pay practices, an Uber spokeswoman told HR Grapevine that “almost all” private hire and taxi drivers had been “self-employed for decades”, before the company was even launched. 

Quoting an Oxford University study commissioned by Uber – which indicated that its drivers are paid more than the London Living Wage - she explained: “If drivers were classed as workers, they would inevitably lose some of the freedom and flexibility that come with being their own boss." 

Law firm Leigh Day, which is acting on behalf of the GMB union, has taken legal action against Uber based on calculations that the company's 40,000 drivers are owed £11,000 (US$14,339) in wages and more than £8,000 (US$10,428) in holiday pay. 

The GMB’s legal director Sue Harris said in a statement: “While the company is wasting money losing appeal after appeal, drivers are up to £18,000 (US$23,463) out of pocket. That’s thousands of drivers struggling to pay their rent or feed their families. It’s time Uber admits defeat and pays up." 

Since the ruling, the company has reportedly increased the amount of control it gives drivers over how they use its app. It now also provides them with sickness, maternity and paternity protection.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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Uber's failure to pay out following a UK Employment Tribunal’s ruling reportedly means its drivers are now owed as much as £20,000 (US$26,070) each.

The ride-hailing service provider has so far refused to recognise a two-year-old ruling, which stated that its drivers should be classified as ‘workers’ rather than ‘self-employed’, entitling them to the minimum wage, holiday pay, and regular rest breaks.

Challenging accusations that the company was involved in unfair pay practices, an Uber spokeswoman told HR Grapevine that “almost all” private hire and taxi drivers had been “self-employed for decades”, before the company was even launched. 

Quoting an Oxford University study commissioned by Uber – which indicated that its drivers are paid more than the London Living Wage - she explained: “If drivers were classed as workers, they would inevitably lose some of the freedom and flexibility that come with being their own boss." 

Law firm Leigh Day, which is acting on behalf of the GMB union, has taken legal action against Uber based on calculations that the company's 40,000 drivers are owed £11,000 (US$14,339) in wages and more than £8,000 (US$10,428) in holiday pay. 

The GMB’s legal director Sue Harris said in a statement: “While the company is wasting money losing appeal after appeal, drivers are up to £18,000 (US$23,463) out of pocket. That’s thousands of drivers struggling to pay their rent or feed their families. It’s time Uber admits defeat and pays up." 

Since the ruling, the company has reportedly increased the amount of control it gives drivers over how they use its app. It now also provides them with sickness, maternity and paternity protection.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

OTHER ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

Uber agrees to settle US equal pay claim for $10m

New York aims to impose minimum pay standards on Uber

California tightens up definition of 'independent contractor'

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