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The ruling will have implications for companies delivering takeaways to providing cleaners to couriering court documents [Image: Alamy].

The ruling will have implications for companies delivering takeaways to providing cleaners to couriering court documents [Image: Alamy].


The overturning of the ‘Uber’ business model is undoubtedly a huge achievement – more so because it comes in the middle of a Conservative Parliament in which the government couldn’t care less about conditions of work.

The implications are enormous for any firm that has operated on a model that demands that de facto employees define themselves as self-employed – suddenly they have the same basic rights as people who are defined as employees.

Will firms change their business models? There’s no reason not to. Uber is worth more than $62 billion so it won’t affect the firm’s profit margins overly.

It all depends how greedy and short-sighted their bosses turn out to be.

Yaseen Aslam. James Farrar. Remember those two names, because they are giant-killers. This summer the men took on not just one £50bn multinational, but an entire business model. On Friday, they won.

As minicab drivers for Uber, Aslam and Farrar were deemed to be self-employed. The status meant they were denied the most basic rights that other workers take: no minimum wage, no sick pay, no paid holiday. But as an employment tribunal judge heard over several days in July, that classification was both wrong and unfair. And he agreed.

The obvious thing to say about Anthony Snelson’s ruling is that it is huge. It poses an existential threat to Uber in Britain. It will also send shockwaves through a string of companies using the same business model to do everything from delivering takeaways to providing cleaners to couriering court documents.

Most of all, it is a massive boost for all of us who want a fairer jobs market – and a big slap in the face for the government. For most of the past six years, ministers have turned a blind eye to the growth in bogus self-employment, zero-hours contracts and Sports Direct-style agency work.

Uber confirmed that it will appeal against the decision, and you can expect this case to keep the courts busy for a few months. Other businesses that have copied the Uber model will be watching anxiously. And so will their workers.

Source: Uber ruling is a massive boost for a fairer jobs market | Technology | The Guardian

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