Uber has launched new High Court action in the UK after the Supreme Court’s ruling on its worker rights and transport regulation.
In February this year, the Supreme Court ruled against Uber to confirm that Uber drivers are entitled to statutory protection under employment law. The ruling stated that Uber must pay its drivers the national living wage from the time that drivers log into the Uber app until the end of their shift on days that they are willing and able to work, as well as at least 28 paid holiday days.
The Supreme Court questioned whether Uber’s business model could be compliant with transport regulation, following comments written by Lord Leggatt as part of the judgement.
As a result, Uber is now seeking declaratory relief from the High Court to confirm whether its business model is compliant with Transport for London (TFL) regulations. The declaratory relief includes an operator licensed under the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 who accepts, pursuant to the Act, a booking from a passenger is not required by that Act to enter into (as principal) a contractual obligation with the passenger to provide the transportation service in respect of that booking.
The App Drivers & Couriers Union (ADCU) said if Uber is successful, the implications would be “catastrophic” to workers and the broader public interest. It also stated it that it feels TFL has failed to raise any concern about the risk of likely unrestrained driver “exploitation” if Uber’s application for declaratory relief is accepted.
ADCU president Yaseen Aslam and general secretary James Farrar said this was a “brazen” attempt by Uber to undermine its Supreme Court victory and weaken TFL’s powers to protect workers from “terrible exploitation.”
“TFL and the Mayor of London’s decision to go along with this legal caper amounts to a terrible betrayal of 100,000 Londoners working as licensed drivers under brutal working conditions. Instead of showing political leadership and standing up for precarious workers, the Mayor is sweeping us and the problem under the carpet,” they said.