The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed Uber’s appeal that its drivers are self-employed and not “workers”.
Today, February 19th, the Supreme Court ruled that the drivers are workers and have the rights to be paid at least the national minimum wage (NMW), receive annual paid leave and to benefit from certain other protections.
Uber drivers will now be able to claim back NMW and holiday pay for the period they have worked for the company, subject to statutory time limits.
Former Uber drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam originally won an employment tribunal, about their employment status, against the company in October 2016. Uber appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal which upheld the ruling in November 2017.
The ride hailing taxi app firm then took the case to the High Court, which upheld the ruling again in December 2018.
Today’s ruling was Uber’s last appeal, as the Supreme Court is Britain’s highest court.
Farrar and Aslam told the BBC they were "thrilled and relieved" by the ruling.
Aslam said: "I think it’s a massive achievement in a way that we were able to stand up against a giant.
"We didn’t give up and we were consistent - no matter what we went through emotionally or physically or financially, we stood our ground."
Christopher Hitchins, employment partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, said: "Going forward, it’s going to be a lot more costly for Uber to engage drivers in the future, as well as an increased administrative burden."
This is a landmark ruling for the gig economy, but it remains to be seen how those working for similar companies will be treated.