The GMB Union has revealed it is celebrating the “massive win” for workers in the gig economy as a four-year battle with Uber saw the Supreme Court upheld the ruling by the Court of Appeal and the Employment Tribunal and paved the way for an end to “bogus self-employed status and no workers’ rights”.
The union says the decision by the Supreme Court now provides hope for GMB members working in the gig economy, who by way of their “bogus“ self-employed status, are currently denied workers’ rights meaning they will usually earn less than the national minimum wage, do not get holiday pay or have decent terms and conditions.
GMB London is optimistic that Addison Lee, a company that claims that its drivers are ‘independent contractors’ will realise that the time has come for change by not pursuing an appeal, but adopt the employed status for its drivers as so plainly ruled by the courts.
GMB London Regional Organiser, Steve Garelick said: “The time for change has come in how the world looks at worker rights and protections. GMB Union is honoured to have been at the vanguard of cases such as this case Uber and for Hermes couriers in forging a new future for the emerging Gig economy.
“We would like to think Addison Lee would now wish to eventually become part of this advancement in the law to provide workers with the rights they should have.’’Liana Wood, a solicitor in the employment team at Leigh Day, said: “The Supreme Court’s decision will have big repercussions not just for Uber taxis, but for anyone who is bringing a similar workers’ rights claim, including other firms that utilise regular phone booking.
“This ruling will be a momentous turn in securing how gig economy workers will be treated going forward. It’s time for companies like Addison Lee to identify their drivers as employees so they can benefit from the rights that this status affords.”
GMB London have said they will not cease taking on companies that operate using the “bogu s self-employment model to exploit workers” by denying them the workers’ rights that they are entitled to by law.