UBER drivers win workers’ rights

PRESS RELEASE Sunday, 21 February 2021

 Sheffield TUC welcomes historic Court of Appeal ruling

Exploitative Bogus Self-Employment exposed

Sheffield Trade Union Council Secretary Martin Mayer today welcomed Friday’s historic Court of Appeal ruling that UBER drivers are in fact workers and not self-employed contractors. “This historic ruling – from the highest court in the land – has huge implications for all the bad bosses out there who are seeking to exploit workers via the sham low-cost model of bogus self-employment. For too long, hugely profitable multinational gig economy operators like UBER, Deliveroo, and a range of logistics and distribution employers have sought to minimise their labour costs by this method – and avoid paying the Minimum Wage, holiday pay and sick pay.”

Friday’s court victory is a massive win for the GMB union and the App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) who fought the case. “It is another shining example of the importance of being in a trade union to fight injustice. These workers could never have taken this case on their own. But it is also a massive indictment of successive Governments’ endorsement of the flexible, low-cost labour economy that allows employers to mistreat and exploit workers – and put every hurdle in their way if they try to fight this. It is very telling that the Government has made no statement welcoming this court decision – unlike the TUC and the Labour Party.”

Delivering his judgement, Lord Leggatt said that the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed Uber’s appeal that it was an intermediary party and stated that drivers should be considered to be working not only when driving a passenger, but whenever logged in to the app.

The court considered several elements in its judgement:

  • Uber set the fare which meant that they dictated how much drivers could earn
  • Uber set the contract terms and drivers had no say in them
  • Request for rides is constrained by Uber who can penalise drivers if they reject too many rides
  • Uber monitors a driver’s service through the star rating and has the capacity to terminate the relationship if after repeated warnings this does not improve

Looking at these and other factors, the court determined that drivers were in a position of subordination to Uber where the only way they could increase their earnings would be to work longer hours.

“We will now be seeking to help workers on similar bogus self-employment contracts in Sheffield to join the union and fight for workers rights.” added Martin Mayer


“Workers should join us to stand up for justice, whatever the issues” said Martin Mayer “Join a trade union today!” Any workers who want to discuss how to do this and get help organising should get in touch with Sheffield TUC in the first instance by emailing tucsheffield@gmail.com or sending a message on our Sheffield TUC Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Sheffield-TUC-136443963099901/


 For more information, please contact Martin Mayer Secretary on 0776 1078482