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Uber's Supreme Court loss 'does not relate' to restaurant couriers

22 February 2021 by
Uber Eats courier contact-free drop-off coronavirus fears

Uber has said its loss in a Supreme Court case which ruled its drivers must be classed as workers does not relate to its Uber Eats restaurant delivery riders.

The ride-hailing app has long said that its taxi drivers are self-employed and therefore not entitled to rights such as holiday pay and minimum wage.

But on 19 February the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a group of Uber drivers in a case first brought in 2016.

In a blog post Uber said: "The verdict does not focus on the other drivers on the app, nor does it relate to couriers who earn on Uber Eats."

The Caterer understands that Uber believes the judgement does not relate to restaurant couriers as food delivery is seen as a different industry. Riders also have the right of substitution, where someone can turn up to work on their behalf.

Uber said the Supreme Court case centred on a small number of its taxi drivers and it has since changed its business model.

It is set to launch a consultation with all its active UK drivers to understand "the changes they want to see".

But James Farrar, co-led claimant in the case and general secretary of the App Drivers and Couriers Union, said the ruling will "fundamentally re-order the gig economy".

Law firm Leigh Day, which represented drivers in the case, estimated claimants could be entitled to an average of £12,000 each in compensation.

"Uber has consistently suggested that the rulings only affect two drivers, but Leigh Day will be claiming compensation on behalf of the thousands of drivers who have joined its claim," said Nigel Mackay, a partner at Leigh Day.

The case will now return to the Employment Tribunal, which will decide how much compensation drivers are entitled to.

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