The Supreme Court’s two-day hearing of the Uber BV and others v Aslam and others case took place week commencing 20 July 2020. It will be a landmark judgement in the field of employment law in relation to the definition of an employee, worker or self-employed contract. We can expect to hear the outcome in the next couple of months.
Why does it matter?
Employment status disputes are when an individual feels they are entitled to the same rights as if they were employed (or potentially vice versa). There are different categories of employment:
- employees, who are entitled to a wide range of employment rights and benefits;
- dependant workers, who are entitled to some, but not all, of those rights; and
- third party contractors (self employed), who receive very little protection under employment legislation.
This is important for the Uber drivers, as if they are considered to be workers, they are entitled to many more rights (including paid leave, etc.) than if they are considered self employed.
The merits or otherwise of the gig-economy and zero-hours contracts have been debated widely over the last few years. There are benefits to some people of having flexible working but for some this is the only work they can obtain. More and more people are looking to work for companies like Uber, in a job market which could see a rise in unemployment of up to 13%, in a worst case scenario (Office for Budget Responsibility Fiscal sustainability report July 2020) .
The Supreme Court decision will be of vital importance to those who drive for Uber or work for other such similar companies, and for their employers…..