Uber Drivers are ‘Workers’ – The Expanding Scope of the ‘Worker’ Concept in the UK’s Gig Economy

Chapter 11 in Kenner J, Florczak I & Otto M (eds), Precarious Work. The Challenge for Labour Law in Europe (Edward Elgar, 2019, Forthcoming)

19 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2019

See all articles by Jeff Kenner

Jeff Kenner

University of Nottingham - School of Law

Date Written: December 1, 2018

Abstract

This chapter evaluates the importance of judicial decisions, most notably the London Uber case, in awarding intermediate ‘worker’ status to self-employed on-demand gig workers. The chapter addresses complex issues of precarity that remain even when workers have some modicum of employment protection. It assesses the impact of the gig economy on the UK’s vibrant but precarious labour market, identifying problematic issues such as sham self-employment, pay, working hours, tax and social security. Analysis of the Uber case builds on the tribunals’ broad protective approach to the law on worker status and availability for work. It draws insight from the parallel case before the EU Court of Justice on the regulatory powers of municipalities over Uber. It concludes by comparing the protective common law approach in Uber, and subsequent cases, with proposals for legislative solutions that may reverse this trend and offers suggestions for solutions that embed the courts’ purposive approach.

Keywords: gig, economy, worker, employment, law, uber

Suggested Citation

Kenner, Jeff, Uber Drivers are ‘Workers’ – The Expanding Scope of the ‘Worker’ Concept in the UK’s Gig Economy (December 1, 2018). Chapter 11 in Kenner J, Florczak I & Otto M (eds), Precarious Work. The Challenge for Labour Law in Europe (Edward Elgar, 2019, Forthcoming) . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3312226 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3312226

Jeff Kenner (Contact Author)

University of Nottingham - School of Law ( email )

University Park Campus
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
United Kingdom
+44(0)1159515956 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/law/people/jeffrey.kenner

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