Economic Theory

The court ruling on Uber is bad news for both drivers and customers

The Supreme Court’s judgment on the Uber case last week has been welcomed rather too easily by commentators such as the Financial Times editorial team. It seems likely that the benefits of the Uber app for both customers and drivers will be lost. If the business survives at all, it will be a poor shadow of its former self. And the same probably goes for a lot of other gig economy businesses.

Uber revolutionised the cab and private hire trade in big cities. Previously if you wanted to get around London you had the choice of either hailing a massively expensive black cab or ringing a minicab firm and hoping you got an answer other than ‘it’ll be 45 minutes’. Even if you did apparently get lucky you would usually wait for ages, ring again and be told ‘it’s just round the corner’. When it finally arrived, the driver wouldn’t know how to get to your destination and would have to have it pointed out in a well-thumbed copy of the A-Z.

Happy Days?

The Uber app enables you to book a car, get a named driver, see a price, see where your driver is and follow his or her route on your phone. No cash changes hands, you can rate the service you get, and make any complaints and receive reimbursement without long phone conversations. It is safe and reliable. It is the 21st century.

But the benefits are not just for the passenger. Uber gives a transparent offer to drivers. If they accept the basic conditions of service to passengers, they receive a fee per journey which allows them to make an hourly rate after expenses and a fee to Uber which is a reasonable return on their time. The fee is set by dynamic pricing, so if there is a shortage of cars the price rises, incentivising more drivers to offer their services.

Drivers are free to turn the app on and off, which gives them the ability to choose the time and location of their work, and fits in with lifestyles very different from that of the 9 to 5 office worker. They can work for a minicab firm as well as using the app. Around a quarter of drivers work part-time to supplement incomes from another job or running a small business. Or they may be attending college, working during the day as delivery drivers, or have family responsibilities which restrict their work options.

The most thorough academic examination of Uber workers, led by economists at the Oxford Martin School found that the flexibility to choose their own hours is highly valued by Uber drivers. The researchers found that 80% of respondents rated this flexibility more highly than holiday pay or a guaranteed minimum wage. And respondents reported higher average levels of life satisfaction than other workers.

Classical liberals would argue that a voluntary arrangement which suits customers, Uber and their workers is a good thing. And it’s not even as if a pre-existing business was trying to avoid its obligations by casualising its existing workforce – the business didn’t exist prior to the app.

But the context is the legal status of different types of employment. In the UK you can be an ‘employee’ with an ever-growing raft of employment rights, a ‘worker’ with rather fewer rights, or ‘self-employed’. These statuses have different implications for tax purposes.

Uber drivers have previously been considered self-employed. The Supreme Court, ending a six-year-old case brought by two Uber drivers, applied tests drawn from previous judgments to determine status. For instance, because Uber drivers accept a given price (rather than setting their own price, as self-employed people often do), have to accept controls over the way their work, may face penalties for poor ratings, and are actively discouraged from making private deals with passengers, they were judged to be ‘workers’ rather than self-employed. In a memorable phrase, the relationship between Uber and its drivers is apparently one of ‘subordination and dependency’, according to Lord Leggart.

The judgment entitles drivers to benefits such as paid leave, the minimum wage for periods when they are waiting for business with the app switched on, and probably pension auto-enrolment.

Uber is now faced with paying compensation to the two drivers. But GMB union officials (who helped bring the case) believe that tens of thousands of drivers will also be entitled to an average of £12,000 each.

Uber may be able to settle these claims without going bust. But will it want to continue working in Britain, where it has faced continuous opposition from unions, black cab drivers and politicians such as the London mayor, Sadiq Khan? If it does, there are predictable consequences. It will have to cut back on the number of drivers, presumably concentrating on those prepared to work more or less full time. Those who have benefited from the ability to work occasionally will lose that opportunity.

This will have costs to both customers and workers.  It will mean more limited availability of drivers at certain times, which will distract from the usefulness of the app to customers. Uber will certainly have to charge people more, while also taking a bigger slice of the price to cover benefits to the driver. There will be lower usage of Uber cabs, and possibly some increased danger as late-night partygoers hitch dubious lifts or walk home.

The judgment has of course wider implications for other app-based businesses such as Deliveroo. We can expect similar cases to be brought and similar verdicts reached.

We cannot dispute the legal basis of the Supreme Court’s findings. Nevertheless, it seems unsatisfactory that such important decisions about employment regulation are taken by judges rather than by Parliament, something which happens far too frequently. And it is worrying that, at a time when job opportunities for many are going to be very limited, we are closing off forms of employment which benefit those for whom flexibility is important, in the name of giving some of them unsought benefits which they may not value as highly.


Editorial and Research Fellow

Len Shackleton is an Editorial and Research Fellow at the IEA and Professor of Economics at the University of Buckingham. He was previously Dean of the Royal Docks Business School at the University of East London and prior to that was Dean of the Westminster Business School. He has also taught at Queen Mary, University of London and worked as an economist in the Civil Service. His research interests are primarily in the economics of labour markets. He has worked with many think tanks, most closely with the Institute of Economic Affairs, where he is an Economics Fellow. He edits the journal Economic Affairs, which is co-published by the IEA and the University of Buckingham.

56 thoughts on “The court ruling on Uber is bad news for both drivers and customers”

  1. Posted 23/02/2021 at 09:10 | Permalink

    Totally agree,again the elite not giving two figs about the proles…

  2. Posted 23/02/2021 at 09:54 | Permalink

    Thanks, one of the best comments on the implications of the decision that I have seen so far.

  3. Posted 23/02/2021 at 12:09 | Permalink

    You are right it’s unfair what happened to uber and what is going to happen to driver we are working happy with uber service as driver we work when we want but the mayor is closing every possibility to we work by closing the road making London not belong to londoners as the black caby Tony complain on lbc greener London is killing london you want us to go to electric car minimum to spend 40000 do you guarantee us we can work or more new rules so we cannot survive private hire has to change car every ten year a lot of stress to be on the road.
    Nowadays high figure is the most important things in life how doesn’t matter.
    Thanks for considering

  4. Posted 23/02/2021 at 12:19 | Permalink

    So you think over supply and abusing drivers is ok so people can get cheep rides

  5. Posted 23/02/2021 at 12:32 | Permalink

    This above account is biased to the point of ignorance, the implications of the gig economy using part time workers on flexible contracts with no employment rights, to monopolies and disrupt full time workers into lowered wages and avoiding regulations while claiming just to be middle agents is the real issue.

    Uber can easily be copied and replaced, they have flooded the circuit with part time drivers who are happy for a small bit of extra money and flexibility, try explaining the benefits to a full time drivers, who has a mortgage to pay. The drivers should be free to decide the terms and collectively have a voice, not a tech company operating from another country.

  6. Posted 23/02/2021 at 12:56 | Permalink

    Dear Sir,

    I am fully agreed with your point view.The uber driver have to face serious consequences in the shape of full employment, fixed working hours and the main thing who made the uber a very famous and international brand his working hours flexiblelity.

    The uber grant the drivers a better life and a better working environment and give assurance a health family life, but sadly two stupid ex uber driver ruined the future of uber drivers and leave them in a limo and made them a working slave.

    The supreme Court decision is a wisdomless, unrealistic and without seeing any ground reality.The supreme Court must acknowledge this a 21 century and people want freedom, flexiblelity, own boss and time management but the supreme Court made a bullshit and bad decision and this decision impact on uber drivers and thier families.

    So sad for uber and uber drivers.

    Your kind Regards,

    Kamran Rasool

  7. Posted 23/02/2021 at 13:07 | Permalink

    Good riddance to such a leach of a company. I bet you these leaches will come back with some other form to suck the workers blood.
    While they made billions of pounds in City like London, they paid fuck all in taxes.
    we would be paying £15 C Charge for a fare of £7.5 cause Uber will take theirs 25% commission on £10 fare on top. And pool will have 35% commission. If it wasn’t for British Justice, these leaches of billionaire investors and corporations will kill and enslave every single person.

  8. Posted 23/02/2021 at 13:27 | Permalink

    We must remember it’s uber drivers that took uber to court nobody else . Working 70 to 80 hours a week and still not making enough to live on then we have the one’s that like the flexibility I believe at least 50 percent are prop up by some form of benefits ie tax payers now to the customer who doesn’t like cheap fares ill go further CHEAP things im sure most of us wouldn’t pay taxes if we had a choice so I don’t believe this judgement is bad as I believe a company worth billion can pay minimum wage and we shouldn’t change the rules because a company worth billion doesn’t want to pay the back bone of its company a fare wage

  9. Posted 23/02/2021 at 13:42 | Permalink

    Didn’t pay there Vat bill!
    NI contributions?

  10. Posted 23/02/2021 at 13:53 | Permalink

    What the article overlooks is the overwhelmingly exploitative nature of the gig economy. Yes, for some, the flexibility is welcome. But the cold hearted reality is that the power in the relationship vests with the Ubers and Deliveroos of this world. And do they exercise that power for the good of their people? We know the answer. And it’s always the people without the power, the ones often forced to do gig economy style ‘work’ because of a combination of circumstances, who pay the price.

    “Nevertheless, it seems unsatisfactory that such important decisions about employment regulation are taken by judges rather than by Parliament, something which happens far too frequently. ”

    If it’s unsatisfactory, why is that? I would venture to suggest it’s because the UK Parliament is dreadful at standing up for individual rights and the courts are much, much better. You should celebrate the strength of the judicial system and bemoan the fact that your elected representatives are woeful at one of their key jobs.

  11. Posted 23/02/2021 at 14:34 | Permalink

    Uber revolutionised the cab and private hire trade in big cities. Previously if you wanted to get around London you had the choice of either hailing a massively expensive black cab or ringing a minicab firm and hoping you got an answer other than ‘it’ll be 45 minutes’. Even if you did apparently get lucky you would usually wait for ages, ring again and be told ‘it’s just round the corner’. When it finally arrived, the driver wouldn’t know how to get to your destination and would have to have it pointed out in a well-thumbed copy of the A-Z.
    Uber is and has always been a mini cab firm with driver’s that have no knowledge nor have passed an examination they are private hire cars whose drivers have been exploited for a company that doesn’t pay it’s fare share of tax
    Uber price’s are often more expensive than a black cab as their prices surge during rush hour’s and weekends and Uber journeys take longer as they have no access to bus lanes I’m delighted of this judgement and Uber will have to pay its way and taking advantage of it’s workers

  12. Posted 23/02/2021 at 14:47 | Permalink

    London cabs do not set the prices TFL do. London cab drivers do not choose the vehicle TFL tell us what to drive current price of the TXE. £67000

  13. Posted 23/02/2021 at 15:26 | Permalink

    Most private hire drivers work as self employed, not as employees. Uber drivers work on other apps and work as independents with mini can firms. How did they come to this conclusion? If that’s the case all cab firms should employ their drivers as well then?

  14. Posted 23/02/2021 at 15:33 | Permalink

    I have worked for Uber for about 4 years having previously worked for others, they have a great app, I feel safer and happier working for uber. Havi g worked fot others I have been assaulted and had people run of without paying. And that’s worth a lot to me having security which Uber gives

  15. Posted 23/02/2021 at 16:29 | Permalink

    What was your commission for writing such a bias piece of tripe? Why don’t you become a judge then we may respect your views.

  16. Posted 23/02/2021 at 17:29 | Permalink

    I am a black cab driver, contrary to what people believe, the price for the ride in black cab is not much more than Uber, unless your journey is over 25 miles out of town. People are prepared to pay a bit more for a more knowledgeable driver and a more comfortable vehicle. Don’t forget Uber has been subsidising thier rides for years so they could put the black cabs and thier competitors out of business. They wanted to monopolize the minicabs business, and if the black cabs were put out of business as well, then thier true intentions would be revealed, that is to charge whatever they wanted, because nobody can stop thier price increases not even TFL. Hopefully Uber is going to pay thier drivers a minimum wages and holiday pay etc etc. Now the playing field is slightly more even, maybe the black cabs have a better chance to survive. We need the black cabs in London, it’s a London icons.


  17. Posted 23/02/2021 at 17:46 | Permalink

    You don’t realise what uber done to drivers outside London big cities.
    It’s law you can’t have outside city driver in London yet its alright else where one law for one one for another, I work in Leeds as uber driver and we have every tom dick and Harry coming in Leeds and take our jobs and nobody says anything and that’s ok.
    The effect of that is I have to work longer hours to make ends meet, drivers complained to ube and council but its like talking to a wall.
    My take home pay is less than a fiver but that’s ok as long as you guys get your bleeding cab on time, I want uber to leave UK if it can’t operate like fit and proper.
    Every council has its own drivers and rules and uber abuse them with cross bordering and this goverment allowing it.

  18. Posted 23/02/2021 at 18:27 | Permalink

    This is good news for people being exploited and will give them workers rights and make life easier instead of working 7 days a week to survive.
    We also know the IEA has links to Uber via Rachel Whetstone and the IEA has always have always stuck up for uber because of this.
    Don’t panic though, Uber normally figure a way round it and you’ll still pay your predatory prices and go from one side of London to the other for the price of pie and mash, whilst the poor driver gets less than minimum wage! 😟
    Kind regards.

  19. Posted 23/02/2021 at 18:46 | Permalink

    Massively black cab fares what are you talking about a black cab fare is virtually the same as Uber driver in the dayAnd goes up As the night goes on Ie unsociable hours black taxi driver does not set his own fears and they are set by TfLFive years of doing a knowledge for a fair pay that’s all we ask we’re not Robin anybody when you study for five years to learn the knowledge you expect a fair day‘s pay Same as doing a degree you would expect to be paid fair after doing a degree

  20. Posted 23/02/2021 at 18:49 | Permalink

    drivers know what they are getting into.its a taxi driver job if they dont like it they can go and deliver food or parcels.plenty of opportunities to earn money.leave taxi driving to drivers who want to do it on a fantastic platform that uber app is.

  21. Posted 23/02/2021 at 18:56 | Permalink

    This article is completely biased. It hails Uber for something it was created for (disruption in the market) but it fails to point out Uber is full on scummy with their employees and don’t give a toss, just like majority of other big corporates. It won’t surprise me at all if Uber has funded this article.

    Uber has treated their drivers like scums recently (tonnes of supply) and they decided what they wanted to pay em as apposed to what they NEED to be paid.

    I’ve stopped driving as it was never worth it but its only gone worse with these London’s stupid rules but I know drivers making like £30-£50 quid a shift of 10-12 hours. Tell me that’s not slavery. Even that £30/£50 is not fully theirs to take.

    From that £30-£50 they pay the following (off the top of my head):

    1. Car – has to be to a certain standard (I.e. will be expensive)
    2. Maintenance – can vary from car to car
    2a. Car breaking down – common if you drive tens of thousands of miles every years
    2b. Usual wear and tear – tyres, coolants, oil etc
    2b. PCO car license – needs renewal every year over £200
    2c. PCO driver license (doesn’t belong in this cat. but will mention it anyway
    2d. MOT – twice a year (even a scratch they’ll fail you for as they still make money)
    2e. Washing & cleaning – riders will rate you down and Uber will encourage em to if the car is fully speckless
    2f. Blah blah blah – I’m there are more

    3. Insurance – for me I was quote £5.5k a year so you get the idea
    4. Road tax (not all but a lot of em pay this)
    5. Fuel – easily £400-£500 a months for a eco/hybrid car – imagine a non hybrid with London’s traffic, all the best
    6. Income tax (don’t think it’s avoided, if you’re a legit driver which majority are you have no choice but to declare every as it’s all online – (given, you’ll get tax relief/rebate for quite a bit of the things but still not worth it, trust me)
    7. National Insurance (you should pay this, you’re using the services)
    8. Congestion Charges (yup this has applied to driver since early 2018/19) – £15 currently
    9. Ulez charges (if you have a non compliant car – all the best from the mayor) – £12.50 (car)
    10. Tickets, usually you’d make mistakes unless you’re a machine and can stay fully awake and attentive the whole of 12-16 hours shift you’d most likely do.
    11. Parking, you’re going to need to park up either for the loo or something but you will trust me. I once paid like £10 to take a leak LOL 😆 – Yup, I was desperate
    12. Food and drinks (consumables)
    13. Your accountant
    14. Airport charges, if any (funnily enough you’re charged those, some airports even for just dropping people off) some will charge you £25 if you stayed me then 10 mins I.e. if your rider takes long

    16. Your labour

    So, there you go that’s whatever I just remembered off the top of my head

    All of the (1 to 15) if you add em up you should get a figure minimum of £50 or above (if it’s less tell me what you drive and how)

    £30/£50 minus (1 to 15) = 16 (Labour) I.e. your take home (slavery) “wage”

    I have taken into account not every day will be £30-£50 quid but I have also taken into account you basically have to make a minimum of £50 every single day of the year (snow, rain, fog, clouds or a heat wave – doesn’t matter) 365 days a week just to stay afloat or break even. You’ll realise you’re not even making your “wage” advertised to be £15-£25 by Uber and such websites.

    Meanwhile, you do all of that and you get to keep 75% of the fare but Uber keeps 25% and still treat you like a mug as if they’re paying you.

    I have recently seen some drivers’ earnings where Uber had promotions on for the riders. Uber gives the discount to em but still take what they would’ve before the discount anyway meaning the promotions given are at the back of the poor hard working and struggling drivers and not from Uber’s marketing department.

    Enough is enough – no more of this modern slavery business and I’m extremely happy Uber has lost as their surveys have all of a sudden started to come through and they “wish to help” lol

  22. Posted 23/02/2021 at 19:01 | Permalink

    Most Uber drivers are claiming that they work part-time. However, most work more than the statutory 16 hours to claim benefits Therefore they might squeal they are being ripped off by Uber but they are a tad quiet on the fact they are fleecing the Government as Uber refuse to give out details of driver earnings.

  23. Posted 23/02/2021 at 19:17 | Permalink

    The uber contracts apart from being cheap and exploiting says ,if a customer abuse the driver or damage their new hybrid or electric vehicles uber is not liable, so this semi intelligent person who his so caring about late customers taking unauthorised rides but do not care about customer abusing drivers,should i take an arms training to defend myself in this civilised uk. This is typical uber sponsored person trying to mess where hedo not have any kind of interest or needs. Uber worked nainly with soth asian and african who THEY know that they have problems with understanding english language and ofcourae TFL is akso involved.Do your research in depth or i can invite you one day to ride with me and you could see the hiw tough is uber. Thanks

  24. Posted 23/02/2021 at 19:46 | Permalink

    Gig economy ,all you people who want a cheap ride home then moan about equality for all
    You’re not bothered by what the driver earns or how exploited they are ,as long as you can get home for free

  25. Posted 23/02/2021 at 20:29 | Permalink

    What did you expect when they are breaking the law,vehicles accepting jobs while out of there licenced area,which then invalidates their insurance!!

  26. Posted 23/02/2021 at 20:30 | Permalink

    Len Shackleton, the guy educated everywhere but no clue of what he is talking about. Never have I read such a uneducated argument about the reality we live anywhere across social media or a news paper. Who seriously would give this guy a space to come up with such rubbish.
    He is clearly irritated at the fact he has to pay a small amount more for his cabs to and from his stately homes than, paying more attention to what is actually going on in our country.
    There is more to this than your own selfish opinions Len. Let’s just all run the country, the traditions, working class into the ground so Len Shackleton can get a cheaper cab, bit shopping and pockets swell whilst the the true hard worker just folds in there blood sweat and tears.

  27. Posted 23/02/2021 at 20:37 | Permalink

    Get your facts right before posting untruths!!

  28. Posted 24/02/2021 at 00:44 | Permalink

    If any Uber driver tells me they didn’t make money it’s a full on lie if you treated it like a job did your 12 hour graft I assure you was making a very decent wage if it wasn’t all that trust me you’d be still working for your local firms where you started off, you get flexibility safety as your not carrying cash it’s a no brainer yes they take a 25% cut but they’re not forcing you to work with them it’s your choice and those who say they was struggling to pay mortgages stop talking out of your ass most of you worked for local firms predominantly cash work making £1000 a week and telling the tax man you only made £200 and then topping it up with tax credits and when your having to pay taxes it’s hurting you, I think Uber should hold a driver referendum and just keep those who want to be self employed and those who don’t can carry on working with local firms don’t forget you came to Uber because you felt safe you all made money it’s a full on lie if you say you didn’t, and I’m a driver I put my hours in I’m self employed I comfortably lay my way and am raising 4 children so don’t talk crap the lot of you, you’ve no work ethics simple as!

  29. Posted 24/02/2021 at 00:47 | Permalink

    Worst of it all is Steven you still continued to use Uber you absolute hypocrite

  30. Posted 24/02/2021 at 04:02 | Permalink

    I was reading public reviews. I’m surprised by some of them saying that uber sucks your blood and etc. 1st of all to me court ruling are absolutely not acceptable because of their ruling, they have opened door to other self employed contractors to go to court and expecting the same result. Which means that there will be many companies who will refuse to take you as a self employ worker/ sub contractor.
    2ndly I work for uber. I know that there are some rules which I don’t like but it give me freedom to work around my family needs also. When I joined uber I knew what it was getting into but after if I say uber is not good than I have look into. I can’t take a job when I don’t have 1 and after getting little better than I take company to court. Its a Crook mind people work.
    I lived in London and worked there. Mayor of London wants uber to minimise or finish on any cost but he doesn’t care about people he is going to make unemployed. He only can say to finish uber if he offers a same company and job opportunity to people / public Under TFL flag. He only works for rich government people. He doesn’t work in public interest.

  31. Posted 24/02/2021 at 06:45 | Permalink

    I am absolutely appalled that someone who claims to be an economist can write something so one sided and ignorant.

    I am a law graduate and started working for Uber last year because of the much vaunted flexibility. What I have found is nothing short of exploitation. What was supposed to have been flexible job turned out to be a 50 – 60 hours a week job. Because if you did not do those kind of hours then you simply could not make enough to survive. Even then I was, at best, clearing about £250 – £350 per week after expenses. Then you have to pay your tax and insurance.

    Yes, Uber has revolutionised the taxi market from outdated system that existed before, as the writer rightly points out. The convenience and ease of use of the the Uber, and other app based platforms, have done wonders for the public perception of the taxi market. It has made it more secure, safer and, more importantly, a lot cheaper to use. The public, like the writer, love it because it has made taxis cheaper than getting the bus. And why wouldn’t they. It’s the bloody poor driver who has to carry the can. Why would anyone, like the writer, be bothered as long as they as they are getting a cheap deal.

    An Uber driver can be driving around for upto an hour, at times, without getting a ride request and without earning. When he gets a ride request he could have to travel 3 – 4 miles to pick up the rider, again this milage is unpaid for, and then travel upto 3 miles with the rider and be paid minimum fare of £3.19 or there or thereabout. So, 3 or 4 people travelling in a chauffeur driven car door to door pickup and drop-off and it works out to be far cheaper than the bus when divided between them. The driver earns 90p to a £1 per mile before expenses. If that is not exploitation then what is? Kid’s are calling Uber’s to go school. Why wouldn’t everyone love it? This mass public convenience has been created by exploiting the poor drivers. To exploit millions of poor people to provide convenience for the masses is a depraved bargain and is not only morally, but more importantly, legally wrong.

    Uber has been aggressively reducing the fare because they know that the cheaper it is the more people will use it and the bigger their commission will be. Uber set the fare, dictate the terms and virtually control every aspect of the transaction but call themselves an third party agent. They take 25% from all the fares that the driver earns. That’s £1 in every £4 that the driver earns. For doing what?

    The writer rightly says that the fares will go up if Uber has to abide by the law and pay minimum wage and other benefits to it’s drivers. However, it is alright to constantly reduce the fare and let the poor driver pay for everything from fuel, insurance, maintenance taxes and other expenses.

    And for those drivers who argue that they enjoy working for Uber and want the flexibility. Why wouldn’t everybody want flexibility. However, would you want flexibility if you were not earning enough to survive? How do these people survive is another debate to be had.

  32. Posted 24/02/2021 at 07:41 | Permalink

    Who ever wants to be a taxi driver should go on the knowledge like like London taxi drivers bring the cost down of a London taxi otherwise you can’t be a taxi driver maybe the fares not hard to work out. Maybe not private hire.

  33. Posted 24/02/2021 at 08:56 | Permalink

    I’m grateful to my friend Michael James for pointing out that another common-law jurisdiction, Australia, has taken a different view onUber drivers and self-employment – a more sensible one, I think:

  34. Posted 24/02/2021 at 08:57 | Permalink

    Well overdue …. end off

  35. Posted 24/02/2021 at 09:55 | Permalink

    This whole uber court ruling is very intersting, i work as a delivery driver delivering for amazon it is exactly the same gig economy. I have worked for 3-4 days in a week for 10+ hours a day and i recieved between £60-£70 for my 40+hours work after expenses.
    I think gig economy should have something similar to the working time directive which they can sign after being onboarded (to stop discrimination) if they want to opt in for the workers right or they want the flexibility, make it the workers choice how they want to earn.
    Amazon is a real bad company to work for as a delivery driver due to how they operate. If anyone needs to be taken to court it is jeff, amazon would rather you get stranded out in floods than not deliver their parcel and thats a fact i can prove with communication between myself and the on site manager!

  36. Posted 24/02/2021 at 10:19 | Permalink

    As a new hire for Uber working in a small town on the south coast this job is perfect for me, I can start when I want and make much better money for my time than contract based retail employment. Is this another instance of a London centric ruling ruining it for everyone else I wonder? It sounds to me like the drivers who sued Uber got into the wrong line of work, if they wanted holiday pay and guaranteed income they should have got a job at a supermarket or retail store. Then we’d see how fast they ran back to their gig economy job when they can’t take a weekend off to see their family because they’ve used up their holiday allowance, or they work Christmas Eve and boxing day every year due to a no peak holiday rule.

  37. Posted 24/02/2021 at 10:46 | Permalink

    licensed Taxis expensive?Mr Shackleton all I can say
    What ever you do never call out a plumber,electrician or any tradesman. As a professional person looking
    Uber everything,you are always looking for some
    Poor slave to service your wants.

  38. Posted 24/02/2021 at 10:53 | Permalink

    Perhaps you should work in the gig economy and see how flexible it is , flexible to them is work more unsociable hours. These drivers dont get the fare you pay, theres nothing left to call a wage, they get sacked when you stand up for yourself. The drivers have to work more hours than is deemed safe, maybe you should ask your driver how many hours hes done that week. This will improve the public’s safety. Hackney carriages fares reflect the costs and wages. It has strengthened my case for my tribunal, well done uber drivers.

  39. Posted 24/02/2021 at 11:09 | Permalink

    I work uber have done for 4yrs i work hard and earn fantastic money all the while being there for my 3 children whenever suits me, the fact is all private hire firms run exactly the same way. I should know ive worked the 4 big frims in my city over the last 10 yrs and uber looks after me better that any of the so called local frims who did take advantage of drives. Uber made the private hire a damn better job to work hands down. In 3 yrs i had no issues while prior to this I’ve been held up and robbed many of times been threatened many of times not been payed many of times and where was these local fims while this was happening.

  40. Posted 24/02/2021 at 11:16 | Permalink

    You made great points. The judgment affects Addison Lee too and other minicab firms. Many will close shop because they cannot pay and survive. Addison Lee, that I worked with for 6 years, is a rip-off firm. It charges 40% -60% on account work and 20% on card/cash work. Drivers cannot reject jobs without claiming breakdown or going home. You must rent their car, use their insurance. Yet, Addison Lee claims drivers are self-employed. In comparison, working with Uber, Bolt, Freenow, or Ola, is more profitable than working for Addison Lee. Cabbing it is a business that requires at 60 hours a week (similar to security officers) to make a higher profit. As a veteran (more than 15 years with an accounting background), I know I earn above the minimum wage per hour but it can be improved. Lazy drivers who don’t work long hours and don’t keep accurate records, are the ones who often lie about doing 80 hours and not earning enough.

  41. Posted 24/02/2021 at 11:31 | Permalink

    So you are in favour of a low pay race to the bottom. The only people competing are Uber drivers pitted against each other. It’s a pretty monopolistic company in London in that price range. Minicabs aren’t allowed to compete in the same way or can’t technology wise. The only competition is the more expensive black cabs.

    Most people don’t want zero hours contracts. They want holiday pay and they want to be able to call in sick or take leave when necessary. Uber employs people, but doesn’t want to pay them. 12k… That’s not a lot…how much do you earn?

    You are right that parliament should have regulated this first. It needs to tighten up employment law but the conservative government isn’t for that, isn’t that why we left the EU. They want to exploit people more and more.

  42. Posted 24/02/2021 at 11:37 | Permalink

    Utter drivel.
    I suspect the author has Uber shares and doesn’t give two hoots about the actual workers rights.

  43. Posted 24/02/2021 at 12:05 | Permalink

    In addition to the impact of COVID 19 on minicab firms – many have closed shops, the judgment will enable the consolidation in the industry leaving less than 50 minicab firms (formerly over 3000) to dominate the trade. Prices will go up to pay for the extra cost.

  44. Posted 24/02/2021 at 12:35 | Permalink

    Why is it everybody cares about what happens to uber what about the black taxi trade we’ve been here for over 150 years our prices are not massively high they are regulated by TFL and as mentioned before we have to pay for a taxi which is fit for condition and costs nearly £70,000. It is not our choice to have a black taxi that cost so much money besides an average journey is between 7 to 10 pounds this is reasonable. Especially if you’re going to the pub and you don’t mind spending £7 to £8 for a pint of beer. We are a necessity and always will be especially if you have plenty of luggage and you are disabled.

  45. Posted 24/02/2021 at 12:38 | Permalink

    Uber can survive while adhering to the court ruling to some of the drivers who consider themselves workers but at the same time provide flexibility for others who regard themselves as self employed on different a contract or terms.
    One of the major cab App firms was already doing that before the lockdown in March last year.
    Some of the drivers were given the option of a fixed time to work and price whilst others were given flexibility that they prefer .

  46. Posted 24/02/2021 at 15:51 | Permalink

    Trust the neolibs to be upset about having to give workers some rights and protections, whilst making no qualms about foreign business ripping off UK tax payers.

  47. Posted 24/02/2021 at 17:31 | Permalink

    The black cab owners are only interested in the price of there plates.i noticed the cab owners neglected to type this,£100.000 for a plate which never belongs to them it belongs to tfl’s,plus it is illegal to sell a plate,but off court hat doesn’t happen does it,they claim there selling the cab mmmmmmmmmm.

  48. Posted 25/02/2021 at 00:41 | Permalink

    If uber CEO himself wrote that article, it won’t be as supportive to uber as this PS article. Get out of ur cocoon and talk to drivers. Uber sucks the living hell out of them. Over saturated market with dicining demand. No rights to drivers of any kind. All drivers are stripped out of their legal right to sue. Any driver can wake up in the morning to find that uber has blocked him for no reason. No support of any kind. Uber did not revolutionized the industry but it actually destroyed it all together. With whatever uber is paying to drivers they can barely live for very short term but after couple of years when they run their cars to the ground then they have no money to buy another vehicle. Uber is nothing about a scam

  49. Posted 25/02/2021 at 09:49 | Permalink

    Wow.. propaganda should at least sound like it’s isn’t biased. This piece clearly is.

    As for the claim that judges are stepping on the toes of parliament and extending their reach into performing a role or function of the executive, such a claim based on this ruling, is both disingenuous and misconceived. Having acknowledged that you cannot level criticism at the SC for their reasoning and implementation of the law , which is an expression of the wishes of parliament, the author goes on to criticize the SC for doing its job. The law has always functioned in this way and it rather unsettling that the SC is here being criticized for doing its job properly, ostensibly because the author is unhappy that the SC applied the law correctly.

    Having read through a large chunk of the comments here, I for one am of the view that the decision was right simply for the practical implications of it. For the SC to have decided the case otherwise would lead to a reduction in employment rights and place us further down a path where big tech and the advances made in technology are used not to improve life but to shackle it. Anyone who believes that people are not there to be openly exploited will value this ruling; the reasoning of those deriding it speaks loudly about which side of the exploitation divide they are on and it sure ain’t the one that leads to fair pay.

  50. Posted 28/02/2021 at 09:52 | Permalink

    Len, I’ve made very similar arguments to yours in the Australian context. In Oz, only about 9 per cent of the non-public sector workforce belong to unions (about 38-40% in the public sector), yet the unions have inordinate power as regards labour laws etc, even with a centre-right government. They are able to force through laws which favour their members but are to the detriment of others, as in gig employment and other casual work. Unfortunately, the Morrison government doesn’t read your work, and has recently accepted that casual workers have a right to become permanent.

  51. Posted 28/02/2021 at 09:55 | Permalink

    PS: surveys of gig economy workers in Oz, including Uber drivers, show that the great majority like their arrangements and don’t want to enter permanent employment.

  52. Posted 17/03/2021 at 18:06 | Permalink

    as an X EDINBURGH ph driver the simple question is why doesnt the local
    authority insist all companys charge the standard meter rate ,,,,

  53. Posted 07/04/2021 at 23:14 | Permalink

    This was a good read for me as a uber driver. In my view it was balanced but uber have to take the blame, it should have seen it coming. Uber should have improved on working conditions, it should have started the conversation on pensions and holidays a long time ago. Say a penny every mile?, a £ every trip? etc. They could improve on their problems solving as well? as it’s so owfull to say the least. That apart uber have been a saviour to many of us in many ways. The best pay packet, flexibility, unrecist.

  54. Posted 26/05/2021 at 23:50 | Permalink

    The only people that thinks this is right, are the people not working in the trade.

    The drivers work 60 hours a week, but most get over £1000 a week, most of the drivers use a prius, which means less money spent at the petrol station.

    The insurance is about £60 to £70 a week.

    And the 60 hrs logged in your probably only working 60% of the time, the rest is waiting for the app to go off.

    If you force companies to pay holiday and pension rates the driver rent will go up and the drivers will earn less so the companies can make up the money.

    This will force drivers to complain and get unions involved meaning the tariff will go up and the customers will pay more.

    Eventually uber will start putting out self driving cars and ask the drivers who complained to leave, as they will no longer need them all.

    Doesn’t sound good to me.

  55. Posted 02/12/2022 at 02:38 | Permalink

    Uber driver

    Tfl endless demanding new expenses for driver

    Expensive car
    Expensive phv insurance
    Congestion. Charge
    Language test
    Mot twice a year
    Car phv licence any small scratch can’t pass it’s mean need take in car body shop to repair
    Road tax
    Tax return
    Airport port scumming fee
    Pcn ticket
    Long hour driving couse Healt expenses
    Car wash
    Uber %25 plus % 20
    Nearly %28-%50 commissions because of upfront pricing

    Also they scumming trip missing trip on the app

    Driver between Uber and Tfl become modern slave

    If driver self -employed why they can’t choose price
    If Uber choosing price why Uber not cover all cost ( company car , petrol …………..)

    Tfl and Uber are criminal
    Mainly Tfl need protect citizen agains this multimillionaire companies .

    I accept job and don’t go as protest

  56. Posted 18/02/2023 at 17:39 | Permalink

    Hi actually the supreme court is right to ask these petty criminal organisations like delta taxi Merseyside to cough up vat and their legal reps arguing traditional private hire regs is bull cos they don’t even comply with them also they often forget these delta criminals also hide under ashield as they too use ride hailing app their own like Icabbi based in Dublin and MTI international both make drivers losses in its hundreds don’t earn us anything so stop the hipocrisy drake solicitors acting for delta HMRC should make them all pay vat I speak as a delta driver who suffered day in day out

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