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.
Uber has been exploiting workers for years now by pretending the workers aren’t employees. Uber sets the pay rate, decides who is allowed to drive, what kind of vehicles are allowed to be used, when driving may occur, the price charged to the customer, and is definitely an employer even if the relationship happens through a phone application.
The court further clarified that working time for the purposes of calculation of the minimum wage and holiday pay would be from logon to log off including stand by time. The court rejected Uber’s argument that if drivers are workers then working time should only be calculated as journey time with a paying passenger. This decision alone has significant implications for reducing urban congestion, pollution and poverty since Uber will now have the correct economic incentive to efficiently utilise driver and vehicle working time.