UK ruling on worker recognition threatens to crash Uber model

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UK ruling on worker recognition threatens to crash Uber model

Ride-hailing app now faces having to deal with holiday pay, minimum wage, sick leave and pension contributions

Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan and Dave Lee

Six years after a small group of drivers in the UK took Uber to an employment tribunal demanding to be recognised as workers, the country’s top court has issued a ruling that threatens to crash the app’s business model in one of its biggest markets.

Having reached the end of the legal road, the Supreme Court’s judgment on Friday may turn Uber’s greatest asset — a huge number of drivers awaiting passengers — into a huge cost.

The ruling that the 35 Uber drivers who brought the case should be recognised as workers, and entitled to holiday pay, the minimum wage, sick leave and a pension, opens the way for Uber’s 60,000 UK drivers to bring legal cases, and may upend other companies reliant on gig economy labour...

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