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Uber’s bid to take case on worker status straight to Supreme Court refused

The taxi-hailing app firm, Uber, has had its application to leapfrog the Court of Appeal and go straight to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the UK, turned down.

The company made its move after the Employment Appeal Tribunal confirmed that Uber drivers should be classed as workers rather than self-employed and therefore able to claim basic workers’ rights including sickness and holiday pay.

It is highly unusual for permission to bypass the Court of Appeal to be granted and is only given in a tiny minority of important cases. For Uber, the decision means the case will be heard at the Court of Appeal some time next year.

Pimlico Plumbers case will be heard at Supreme Court

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court, with its remit is to “hear appeals on arguable points of law of the greatest public importance”, is expected to hear another closely related employment case next February (2018) when Pimlico Plumbers appeals against a decision that one of its plumbers, who had signed a self-employment contract, was in fact a worker.

Both cases have huge implications for the many thousands of people working in the so-called ‘gig economy’ – a system of casual working which does not commit a business or a worker to set hours or rights – and will be followed closely by businesses, particularly as there is a growing body of case law in which judges concluded that individuals at companies like Addison Lee, Excel and Citysprint were in fact workers rather than independent contractors.

To read Wards Solicitors’ previous articles on this subject, please see:

For help and advice about legal employment issues please contact our specialist Employment Law team or pop into one of our 11 local offices.

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