Uber drivers are employees of the company and not self-employed, so they must receive at least one minimum wage and have their vacation paid – this is the final decision (that is, no appeal) from the UK Supreme Court, which decided in favor of drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, ahead of a class action with 23 more claimants. The unanimous verdict ratifies that rendered by three lower courts since October 2016 that guaranteed labor rights for drivers.
For the drivers involved and the App Drivers and Couriers union (ADCU), “this decision will end the frequent exploitation of workers. Uber sells a cruel dream of flexibility and freedom, when the reality is low earnings and long working days, ”said Farrar.
A special court will determine the compensation to be paid to drivers. According to the law firm that represents more than two thousand drivers with claims related to the case, each can receive up to £ 12 thousand (R $ 90 thousand). Uber is still facing another 1,000 similar lawsuits, suspended until the British Supreme Court ruled.
The company posted on its blog, however, that “the verdict does not apply to other drivers of the app, nor does it refer to delivery drivers registered with Uber Eats”.
According to Uber’s regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, Jamie Heywooda, “we respect the court’s decision that focused on a small number of drivers who used the Uber app in 2016.”
Uber’s defeat sets a dangerous precedent for other companies in the so-called Gig Economy (made up of companies that use temporary workers and are not employed for one-off services). Today, about 4.7 million people are inserted in this market in the United Kingdom, and the decision may affect food delivery companies to those linked to micro-work, such as Amazon.