Has Uber taken its drivers for a ride?

Posted on Jan 6, 2017

If you live in London, the chances are that you’ve used Uber for its quick and easy taxi service. But whilst it may be making our lives easier, it seems to be driving its workers crazy.

Earlier last year two Uber drivers took Uber to court, arguing that they were employees of the company, rather than working for themselves. The Uber business model was based on taking a cut of the driver’s fares (which are dictated by the company) after they log on to the app. The employment tribunal decided that the drivers were employees, stating the absurdity of Uber being made up of over 30,000 small businesses in London linked by a common platform. As well as this, the drivers have no power of negotiation regarding the fare.

Uber have since decided to appeal, which comes amidst concerns with the government regarding the recent trend towards self-employed workforces. The government have recently announced a six-month review of working practices and HMRC are creating a new unit, the employment status and intermediaries team, to investigate companies.

Employers need to ensure that the correct procedures are followed and that workers’ employment status is clearly identified, or they may find themselves driving down a very rocky path, much like Uber.