High Court declares Uber business model unlawful

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Plum’s business model has been outlawed in London following a High Court ruling on Monday.

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Uber took the decision in February after a Supreme Court ruling seeking further legal action held that its drivers were employees and were therefore entitled to benefits such as sick pay and minimum wage.

During the Supreme Court case, Lord Leggett suggested that Uber’s claim of acting as an “agent” for its drivers may be in violation of the transport and employment law administered by TfL, although it did not decide the matter. had gone.


But Monday’s High Court ruling has firmly established that Uber’s gig economy business model is unlawful, and that it is “by the 1998 Act to enter into a contractual obligation with the passenger to provide travel in connection with that booking.” essential for” .

The decision will have a knock-on effect for over 1,900 licensed private hire vehicle operators in London, as well as TfL, which licenses them.

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There is now a possibility of easier access to employment rights for drivers and couriers as they are no longer entering into contracts with passengers, but working for operators who instead contract with passengers.

The London Assembly previously called for greater access to employment rights for private hire drivers and couriers, and in 2017 passed a resolution to make workers’ rights a condition of all private hire licenses approved by TfL.

Responding to Monday’s decision, Green Party assembly member Sean Berry said the decision was “damaging for Transport for London and embarrassing for Uber”.

Ms Berry said: “Since Uber emerged, Transport for London has been on the back foot, failing to properly exercise its powers to regulate and protect London’s private hire operators and drivers .

“The prolonged delay in receiving today’s clear decision has had a detrimental effect on the rights, income and conditions of work of Uber drivers, and has resulted in disruption and loss of jobs for all workers in the taxi trade in London, as well as potentially putting passengers at risk.”

He said TfL and the Mayor of London had “failed” to ensure that services “serve for the public good” and asked them “to ensure that all operators are complying with the correct law without delay”. ” has been called.

Yasin Aslam, president of the App Drivers and Courier Union and a claimant in the Supreme Court case against Uber in February, has called on Sadiq Khan to order an “immediate review of TfL to find out what went wrong.”

Mr Aslam said: “For years, the Mayor of London and Transport have told us that they have no power to protect TfL licensed drivers from brutal exploitation by licensed operators such as Uber.”

“This judgment confirms that, not only did he have all the powers but, in fact, he had a duty to act upon these powers but failed to do so.”

Uber said in a statement: “This court ruling means that all the details of the Supreme Court’s decision are now clear. Every private hire operator in London will be affected by this decision, and will have to fully comply with the Supreme Court ruling.” needed.

“Drivers at Uber are guaranteed at least a national living wage, vacation pay and a pension scheme, but we are not the only players in town. Other operators should also ensure that drivers are treated fairly. ,

TfL has been contacted for comment.


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