Uber BV v Aslamis a landmark case inandon employment rights. Theheld the transport corporation,, must pay its drivers the, and at least 28 days paid holidays, from the time that drivers log onto the Uber app, and are willing and able to work. The Supreme Court decision was unanimous, and upheld the Court of Appeal, Employment Appeal Tribunal, and Employment Tribunal. The Supreme Court, and all courts below, left open whether the drivers are also employees (and entitled further to unfair dismissal, National Insurance contributions, and employer arrangement of income tax) but indicated that the criteria for employment status was fulfilled, given Uber’s control over drivers.
However, while the question of whether Uber drivers may also be employees may have been left open, the obstacle which must be overcome in any claim wishing to establish limb-a status is the employment tribunal’s decision in Smith v Pimlicowhere the employment tribunal decided that Mr Smith was not an employee on the basis that it considered all the circumstances including the fact that the Claimant took advantage of his self employed status, that there was insufficient obligation to provide work or pay and undertook the financial risk of non payment by the client for this relationship to be one of employer and employee. This part of the decision was upheld by the EAT which dismissed the claimants cross appeal in this regard. This is only one of the most recent instances of a long history of cases where the courts fail to find an employer-employee relationship due to lack of mutuality of obligation.
On 16 March, 2021, Uber indicated that it intended to violate the Supreme Court ruling, by only paying drivers the minimum wage while driving, not when being available for work as the Supreme Court required.