Uber has recently been in the London employment tribunal following two of its drivers bringing claims against the company for not offering national minimum wage, lunch breaks, holiday pay and sick pay.
Uber, which allows users to book and pay for a taxi through a smartphone app, is facing claims from drivers that they are workers (rather than self-employed individuals) and therefore, entitled to national minimum wage, lunch breaks, holiday pay and sick pay. Uber in its defence state that it just a technology company and not a taxi firm, and that drivers do not work for Uber but instead for themselves as self-employed individuals. Whether the tribunal agrees with this is yet to be seen.
These are merely test cases and, if successful, will have wider ramifications for not only the thousands of other Uber drivers, but also other technology companies operating in a similar fashion, for example, the likes of Deliveroo, whose couriers are also considered to be self-employed. If the drivers win their case there could be significant liabilities for Uber and like companies for under-paid wages and holiday pay. For Uber, this will no doubt be problematic, especially if it pushes up fares and in turn damages one of its key selling points – its low price in comparison to other cab firms.