Uber drivers in the UK sue to become employees

Uber drivers in the UK have filed an employee misclarification claim that seeks to change their status to employees of the company rather than self-employed contractors, BuzzFeed News reports.

The claim follows similar motions in the US, where Uber is currently fighting multiple drivers on whether they are really employees or contractors. The latter has very few employee benefits, which drivers argue is unfair.

Represented by Nigel Mackay, an employment and discrimination lawyer, Yaseen Aslam, Terry Hoy, James Farrar, and Rehan Mithu argue that they are entitled to “Worker Status,” a UK-specific classification that sits between self-employment and employment.

“Worker Status” would guarantee Uber drivers the national minimum wage, paid holidays, limits on night work, and the right to paternity and maternity leave, among other things. “Uber says drivers enjoy the flexibility they are afforded on the platform,” Mackay told BuzzFeed. “This is not going to stop them from having flexibility, it’s just going to get them basic rights.”

Mackay has set his sights on bringing in more claimants, elevating the case to something similar to a class action lawsuit in the US. According to his law firm, more drivers have come forward seeking additional rights. “We are aiming to file the next group of claims in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

The claim has been sent to the Employment Tribunal who must show the case to Uber within a month. Mackey doesn’t expect the case to be heard by a judge until early next year.

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