Uber ruling could have huge implications for the UK labour market

Commenting on the Employment Tribunal decision that Uber will have to grant its drivers basic employment rights, Bill Longe, Head of Employer Solutions at RSM said:

‘This ruling has huge implications for the whole of the UK labour market. Over the years, there has been a seemingly unstoppable trend towards much greater flexibility – evidenced by the increased use of zero hours contracts and the rise in the numbers of people becoming self-employed.

However, the distinction between whether somebody is self-employed or employed has largely been determined by cases going back many years, and this has failed to keep up-to-date with modern ways of working. This latest ruling could potentially bring the trend towards greater flexibility to a grinding halt.

‘I have no doubt that Uber will appeal this decision as it puts a huge dent in the company’s business model – as well as those of other businesses who use the self-employed workpool to give greater flexibility to their operations. It will be interesting to see whether this ruling is upheld in the higher courts - if it is, Uber passengers can expect their fares to be significantly higher.’