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UK Supreme Court Says Uber is the Employer of its Drivers

Publications / Feb 28, 2021

Article written by Haim Ravia, Dotan Hammer and Adi Shoval

The UK Supreme Court ruled that Uber is the employer of its drivers and is responsible for providing them with social benefits such as minimum wage and paid vacation days.

The case was filed by several Uber drivers who claimed they should be considered Uber’s employees and are therefore entitled to employment benefits. Uber responded that its relationship with its drivers is defined in the parties’ agreement, which states that when a request to book a private hire vehicle through the Uber app is accepted, a contract is thereby concluded between passenger and driver, which Uber is not a party to and under which the driver is solely responsible for providing transportation services to the passenger. Uber claimed that its only role is to provide technology services and to act as a payment collection agent for the driver. Uber’s claims were denied by several lower tribunals. Uber appealed to the UK Supreme Court, which dismissed Uber’s arguments.

The UK Supreme Court held that Uber has established an employment relationship with its drivers. The court predicated its decision on the nature of the relationship between Uber and drivers, noting that Uber sets the fares and, consequently the drivers’ compensation. Uber also dictates the agreement between the drivers and the passengers. In addition, Uber was also entitled to sanction a driver or terminate its agreement with a driver who in Uber’s opinion did not perform satisfactorily.

CLICK HERE to read the UK Supreme Court’s decision in [2018] EWCA Civ 2748, Uber BV v Aslam.