AN EMPLOYMENT lawyer has warned that taxi firm Uber’s defeat in a tribunal test case could have major ramifications for businesses.
At a London tribunal yesterday Uber was found to have acted unlawfully by not paying holiday or sick pay to its drivers.
Two self-employed drivers had brought the case against Uber, claiming they were employed by the firm and did not have basic workers’ rights.
The firm, which lost, argued its drivers are self-employed, not employees and that the firm does not set minimum hours or make them work exclusively for the firm.
Simon Rhodes, from Hampshire-based Trethowans, the main sponsor for The News’ Business Excellence Awards, due to be held in February, said: ‘This will be a significant blow for Uber, which will not only have to pay these benefits in the future but also it probably means it will have to retrospectively pay some historic unpaid benefits.
‘In addition, it will have to take into account the other aspects that come with having employees, such as adhering to unfair dismissal rules when staff have two years of continual service.
‘This could have major financial implications for Uber and, as with any business faced with rising costs, there is the potential that these could be passed on to customers.’
The case does not set a precedent but could do if taken to the Court of Appeal.