The UK has created a precedent significant enough to have a noteworthy effect domestically and abroad. New economies are raising employment law questions everywhere in the world and have been for a few years now and the standoff has finally broken. Uber drivers are now classified as ‘workers’ in the UK which is simply phenomenal for employee rights, especially considering the arguments taken in the Supreme Court. The decision provides drivers with universal employment rights such as the entitlement to national minimum wage and annual paid leave.
The ripples of the Supreme Court ruling have created a slew of claims against uber and the potential damage to the company in a worst-case scenario could price the company out of the market. Today there is still no telling the exact effect of all of this, however a few things are certain.
• Employment-related claims relating to the ‘gig economy’ are set to increase.
• European countries will be re-evaluating their relationship with Uber and others, with the UK precedent in mind.
• Similar new economies and other ride-share companies are not safe and should plan accordingly.
Law firms in the UK have a unique opportunity to handle these claims firsthand and find some solid success in reaching a whole new area of clientele. Those firms who do business in other countries as well can prepare for possible rule changes that will likely follow from this judgement.