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Amnesty International UK reaction to UK Supreme Court's judgment classifying Uber drivers as workers

" UK: Uber drivers win six year battle over workers' rights in groundbreaking ruling", 19 February 2021

A landmark ruling that has classified a group of Uber drivers as workers rather than independent contractors is a “huge win for workers’ rights”, Amnesty International said today.

Uber drivers won a six-year legal battle over their rights today (19 February), as Supreme Court judges ruled that they will be entitled to claim workers’ rights, including the national minimum wage, paid holiday and the right to form a union.

Amnesty has welcomed the ruling calling it a “significant step” towards transforming the gig economy in Britain by ensuring that workers’ rights protections are granted to digital platform workers.

Uber should now hire its drivers as “workers”, which would mean Uber drivers are entitled to minimum rates of pay, rights under working time and whistleblowing legislation, protection from discrimination and for those whose earnings are liable for National Insurance contributions also access to statutory sick pay...

The Court found that “the transportation service performed by drivers and offered to passengers through the Uber app is tightly defined and controlled by Uber”, and as such drivers are entitled to protection under employment law. Importantly, the court also held that the claimants were working for the company whenever they had the Uber app switched on, not just when driving passengers between destinations.

However, under UK law those classified as “workers” are not entitled to the same protections as employees, and as such still do not have a full right to sick pay, maternity and paternity leave, and the right not to be unfairly dismissed...

Today’s ruling is part of a growing international campaign to protect the rights of gig workers and challenge the misclassification of workers as third-party contractors...

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