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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:10 am 
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Think the one issue that’s going to cause the most financial pain to Uber and the likes of Addison Lee and Delta is the minimum wage part of the ruling.

Court said if you are logged on in your licensing area then you are entitled to minimum wage whether you have a punter or not.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:20 am 
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skippy41 wrote:
"Following a lengthy legal fight, the UK's highest court ruled against the taxi app firm and concluded drivers should be classed as workers, not independent third-party contractors, which means they are entitled to basic employment protections, including minimum wage and holiday pay."

It's a while since I've looked at this kind of thing, and I haven't read any of the cases.

But I think that in employment law there are three categories:

- employees
- workers
- self-employed (or independent contractors)

So the Supreme Court has decided that they belong to the middle category, thus not full-blown 'employees', but not self-employed either. So somewhere in the middle between the two.

But you're right in that when ye and me started work (I was c. 1980) you were either an employee or self-employed. The 'worker' thing was introduced by legislation I think maybe around 2000.

As for the applicability of the ruling to the wider trade, that's not automatic, and basically the jury's out on that at the moment. I mean, if it was that straightforward then it would have happened years ago, presumably, because nothing's really changed with the rest of the trade since well before Uber arrived and the 'worker' category had been leglislated for.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:21 am 
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And I'm sure Sussex can provide chapter and verse on the employee/worker/self-employed thing - I think he actually reads these cases :-o


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:25 am 
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I am Hackney so I am self Employed.

In the PH World it could, down the line, make Grandad's Business Model the norm.

That would mean that a sensible Proprietor of a PH Firm would not "take on" more Drivers than the work available would justify as the Proprietor could end up out of pocket. So market forces would set the number of Drivers in any locale.

Could cut the number of Drivers, yet increase the income of the Drivers remaining.

Implications for other sectors, like food delivery apps as well of course.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:33 am 
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How many drivers who work for a circuit will now become workers? How many of them will want to become workers instead of self employed?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:57 am 
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StuartW wrote:
And I'm sure Sussex can provide chapter and verse on the employee/worker/self-employed thing - I think he actually reads these cases :-o

In very short the only main difference between employed and worker is that worker can be basically sacked and not claim unfair dismissal.

All the other rights such as minimum wage, holiday pay, sickness pay, maternity/paternity pay, apply to both employed and worker status.

Well they do from this morning.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:10 pm 
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There's a Moose Loose aboot this hoose :lol:

seriously though typos apart I cannot see this making an immediate impact unless drivers up and down the country all start their own cases

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:34 pm 
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This Site seems to explain the difference between an Employee and Workers....still not very clear though.

https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/workers-and-employees-differences


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:08 pm 
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The judgement is a whopper judgement of 43 pages, and even I haven't read those yet. :shock:

https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/ ... dgment.pdf

However the Justices have also issued an idiots guide (for the press) which is only 3 pages. \:D/

https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/ ... ummary.pdf

Most interesting bits for me in the idiots guide are these two paragraphs.

The judgment emphasises five aspects of the findings made by the employment tribunal which justified its conclusion that the claimants were working for and under contracts with Uber [93].
First, where a ride is booked through the Uber app, it is Uber that sets the fare and drivers are not permitted to charge more than the fare calculated by the Uber app. It is therefore Uber which dictates how much drivers are paid for the work they do [94]. Second, the contract terms on which drivers perform their services are imposed by Uber and drivers have no say in them
[95]. Third, once a driver has logged onto the Uber app, the driver’s choice about whether to accept requests for rides is constrained by Uber [96]. One way in which this is done is by monitoring the driver’s rate of acceptance (and cancellation) of trip requests and imposing what amounts to a penalty if too many trip requests are declined or cancelled by automatically logging the driver off the Uber app for ten minutes, thereby preventing the driver from working until allowed to log back on [97]. Fourth, Uber also exercises significant control over the way in which drivers deliver their services. One of several methods mentioned in the judgment is the use of a ratings system whereby passengers are asked to rate the driver on a scale of 1 to 5 after each trip. Any driver who fails to maintain a required average rating will receive a series of warnings and, if their average rating does not improve, eventually have their relationship with Uber terminated [98 - 99].
A fifth significant factor is that Uber restricts communications between passenger and driver to the minimum necessary to perform the particular trip and takes active steps to prevent drivers from establishing any relationship with a passenger capable of extending beyond an individual ride


and

The Supreme Court also holds that the employment tribunal was entitled to find that time spent by the claimants working for Uber was not limited (as Uber argued) to periods when they were actually driving passengers to their destinations, but included any period when the driver was logged into the Uber app within the territory in which the driver was licensed to operate and was ready and willing to accept trips.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:15 pm 
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Think this article from the BBC also deals with the issues quite well.

Uber drivers are workers not self-employed, Supreme Court rules

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56123668

Uber drivers must be treated as workers rather than self-employed, the UK's Supreme Court has ruled.

The decision could mean thousands of Uber drivers are set to be entitled to minimum wage and holiday pay.

The ruling could leave the ride-hailing app facing a hefty compensation bill, and have wider consequences for the gig economy.

Uber said the ruling centred on a small number of drivers and it had since made changes to its business.

In a long-running legal battle, Uber had appealed to the Supreme Court after losing three earlier rounds.

Uber is being challenged by its drivers in multiple countries over whether they should be classed as workers or self-employed.

In the US, California voters passed a measure called Proposition 22 that will see freelance workers continue to be classified as independent contractors in November, overturning a landmark labour law passed in 2019.

'Massive achievement'

Former Uber drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, who originally won an employment tribunal against the ride hailing app giant in October 2016, told the BBC they were "thrilled and relieved" by the ruling.

"I think it's a massive achievement in a way that we were able to stand up against a giant," said Mr Aslam, president of the App Drivers & Couriers Union (ADCU).

"We didn't give up and we were consistent - no matter what we went through emotionally or physically or financially, we stood our ground."

Uber appealed against the employment tribunal decision but the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the ruling in November 2017.

The company then took the case to the High Court, which upheld the ruling again in December 2018.

The ruling on Friday was Uber's last appeal, as the Supreme Court is Britain's highest court, and it has the final say on legal matters.

Delivering his judgement, Lord Leggatt said that the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed Uber's appeal that it was an intermediary party and stated that drivers should be considered to be working not only when driving a passenger, but whenever logged in to the app.

The court considered several elements in its judgement:

Uber set the fare which meant that they dictated how much drivers could earn
Uber set the contract terms and drivers had no say in them
Request for rides is constrained by Uber who can penalise drivers if they reject too many rides
Uber monitors a driver's service through the star rating and has the capacity to terminate the relationship if after repeated warnings this does not improve


Looking at these and other factors, the court determined that drivers were in a position of subordination to Uber where the only way they could increase their earnings would be to work longer hours.

Jamie Heywood, Uber's Regional General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, said: "We respect the Court's decision which focussed on a small number of drivers who used the Uber app in 2016.

"Since then we have made some significant changes to our business, guided by drivers every step of the way. These include giving even more control over how they earn and providing new protections like free insurance in case of sickness or injury.

"We are committed to doing more and will now consult with every active driver across the UK to understand the changes they want to see."

'Drivers are struggling'

The Supreme Court's ruling that Uber has to consider its drivers "workers" from the time they log on to the app, until they log off is seen as a key point.

Uber drivers typically spend time waiting for people to book rides on the app. Previously, the firm had said that if drivers were found to be workers, then it would only count the time during journeys when a passenger is in the car.

"This is a win-win-win for drivers, passengers and cities. It means Uber now has the correct economic incentives not to oversupply the market with too many vehicles and too many drivers," said James Farrar, ADCU's general secretary.

"The upshot of that oversupply has been poverty, pollution and congestion."

However, questions still remain about how the new classification will work, and how it affects gig economy workers who work not only for Uber, but also for other competing apps.

Mr Aslam, who claims Uber's practices forced him to leave the trade as he couldn't make ends meet, is considering becoming a driver for the app again. But he is upset that it took so long.

"It took us six years to establish what we should have got in 2015. Someone somewhere, in the government or the regulator, massively let down these workers, many of whom are in a precarious position," he said.

Mr Farrar points out that with fares down 80% due to the pandemic, many drivers have been struggling financially and feel trapped in Uber's system.

"We're seeing many of our members earning £30 gross a day right now," he said, explaining that the self-employment grants issued by the government only cover 80% of a driver's profits, which isn't even enough to pay for their costs.

"If we had these rights today, those drivers could at least earn a minimum wage to live on."

Impact on Uber

When Uber listed its shares in the US in 2019, its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) included a section on risks to its business.

The company said in this section that if it had to classify drivers as workers, it would "incur significant additional expenses" in compensating the drivers for things such as the minimum wage and overtime.

"Further, any such reclassification would require us to fundamentally change our business model, and consequently have an adverse effect on our business and financial condition," it added.

Uber also wrote in the filing that if Mr Farrar and Mr Aslam were to win their case, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) would then classify the firm as a transport provider, and Uber would need to pay VAT on fares.

The company has long argued that it is a booking agent, which hires self-employed contractors that provide transport.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:24 pm 
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Quote:
Delivering his judgement, Lord Leggatt said that the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed Uber's appeal that it was an intermediary party and stated that drivers should be considered to be working not only when driving a passenger, but whenever logged in to the app.

That really is such an important decision for many inside and many outside of the trade.

Quote:
Jamie Heywood, Uber's Regional General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, said: "We respect the Court's decision which focussed on a small number of drivers who used the Uber app in 2016.

"Since then we have made some significant changes to our business, guided by drivers every step of the way. These include giving even more control over how they earn and providing new protections like free insurance in case of sickness or injury.

"We are committed to doing more and will now consult with every active driver across the UK to understand the changes they want to see.

Suggest you read the judgement again fella. The court didn't say this only applies to a few drivers back in 2016, it said it applies to all Uber drivers.

The minimum wage issue is an issue that applies now.

Quote:
"This is a win-win-win for drivers, passengers and cities. It means Uber now has the correct economic incentives not to oversupply the market with too many vehicles and too many drivers," said James Farrar, ADCU's general secretary.

Indeed, firms will have to deal with having too many cars waiting around doing nothing. Will it lead to drivers having to work set shifts, maybe, but drivers working crazy hours is madness, it's not safe for drivers or punters and needs to be addressed.

Quote:
Uber also wrote in the filing that if Mr Farrar and Mr Aslam were to win their case, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) would then classify the firm as a transport provider, and Uber would need to pay VAT on fares.

My heart bleeds for them. \:D/

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:59 pm 
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Rest Assured the Tory Government are already considering changes to legislation that will enable Uber to carry on as normal.....................no doubt supported by that c88t Starmer :evil:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:32 pm 
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Chris the Fish wrote:

In the PH World it could, down the line, make Grandad's Business Model the norm.


We anticipated that this would happen which is one reason that we all became employees well over a year ago. That is employees and not workers. yes it has cost us a bit of money at times and it did cost us a couple of drivers who did not want to be employees. Our drivers are paid above the minimum wage and are enrolled in the company pension scheme if they want, actually no one has opted out. so they pay 5% of their wages into the pension and we pay an additional 3% on top. they get 28 day paid holiday per year and are entitled to all the other benefits that being an employee brings. it also means that whilst there is little or no work they are getting furlough pay.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:07 pm 
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bloodnock wrote:
This Site seems to explain the difference between an Employee and Workers....still not very clear though.

https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/workers-and-employees-differences

Reason it's not clear is basically the legislation doesn't really define what these terms mean, so it's up to the courts to decide. And anyone reading likes of Uber judgement will realise how complex it all is.

I recall when studying a bit of that stuff back in the 1980s, the employment leglisation would basically say that *employees* are entitled to this and that, blah, blah, but didn't actually say what an employee was, so it was up to the courts to decide.

That was even before the days of the national minimum wage, but, for example, someone would be sacked or made redundant, and would claim unfair dismissal or a redundancy payment because they were an employee.

Ah, but their employer would say, you're not an employee, so you're entitled to jack, and we can sack you on a whim without compo.

So the person could take them to court and claim that they actually were an employee, and it would be up to the courts to decide.

So even back then there were various cases, and various tests that could be applied, so all very complicated.

But one important test (and one which is still relevant today) is 'control', ie how does the business control what the person does. For example, if you work set hours then that's a strong indicator you're an employee, rather than coming and going as you please. On the other hand, that wouldn't be conclusive, so even if you could come and go, you might still be classed as an employee.

Anyway, a few years later they introduced the middle tier 'worker' classification, which obviously complicated things a bit even more, but at the end of the day it was still left to the courts to decide which people would fit into each category.

(As regards the 'control' thing, I often wondered if that was why Uber always relied on an open-shift model, so as to avoid the appearance of control over drivers. In turn, that was maybe why they wouldn't take prior bookings, like early morning airport runs - to cover those they would have to rota drivers, thus more evidence of control. So instead they rely on surge pricing to entice drivers to work when they're needed. In turn, that was maybe why they've avoided smaller towns and the like - open shifts may work in the cities, but obviously not so much in smaller towns.

The control thing was maybe also why they've always let drivers work for other firms - I'm sure they'd actually prefer them to be working only for Uber, but if that was the case then they'd give the appearance of more control over drivers.

But, as I said above, no one aspect is conclusive, and it depends on the precise circumstances and how the judges interpret that. So even Uber's open-shift model and allowing drivers to work for other firms hasn't been enough.)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:07 pm 
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Other firms may try to argue they have different rules and that the decision was made on the basis of the Londonlegislation
But the fundamental finding was that the EmploymentbRibunal was correct


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