Drivers working for car-hailing app Uber are set to hear the results of a landmark ruling today, which could decide once and for all their employee status.
The employment tribunal, held in London, will decide on whether or not Uber is currently acting unlawfully in not giving its drivers employment rights such as holiday pay, rest breaks and the National Living Wage.
The decision is reportedly expected today, and could affect other businesses with similar lay-outs as Uber.
The tribunal case argues that Uber drivers should be classed as workers and, as such, they should be receiving all basic rights under UK employment law.
Maria Ludkin, Legal Director at the GMB, explained what this could mean in an interview with the BBC: “This case represents the first proper legal review of whether jobs in this part of the so-called gig economy really represent a new paradigm of freedom and self-employment, or in fact are simply a new technology ploy to deny employed workers ordinary employment rights and a national minimum wage.
“In our view Uber's business model is underpinned by the shaky foundations of worker exploitation and tax avoidance, both of which end up being underwritten by the ordinary taxpayer.”
Uber claims to have 40,000 drivers in the UK, but the drivers are all “independent contractors” or self-employed – the BBC reports.
Stay tuned for the results later this afternoon.