The Employment Court has ruled that four Uber drivers are employees, and not independent contractors as claimed by Uber. The drivers may now be entitled to make claims of minimum employment entitlements such as minimum wage, holiday and sick leave, and rest and meal breaks.

To be considered an employee, a worker must be engaged to work for hire or reward, and must be engaged under a contract for service. To determine this, the Court had to look to all of the relevant factors surrounding the relationship between Uber and the Drivers.

Firstly, the Court looked to the operation of Uber as a business. Uber attempted to argue that they played a merely facilitative role in offering work to the Drivers.

Uber has control over the amount a driver is paid for each trip and the terms and conditions that must be agreed to in order to drive for Uber. Uber also holds the power to change either of these. This led to the Court stating that the level of control Uber had over the Drivers was greater than that of a mere facilitator.

As well as this, the Drivers had no power to choose how much they would charge per ride, meaning that they had little to no ability to improve their economic position through professional skill. The Court decided that this was indicative of an employment relationship, as a contractor would possess a greater amount of control over their daily schedule and charge out rate.

The Court ultimately decided that based on these factors, as well as the fact that all four of the Drivers had signed an employment contract that Uber had intended to enter into an employment relationship with the Drivers.

If there is confusion around the difference between an employee and an independent contractor, it pays to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.


Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.


Alan Knowsley