“As I discovered while working for Uber, life behind the wheel can become a blur of endless traffic, crushing loneliness, enduring fatigue and relationships strained by absence.
It is this business philosophy that has seen Uber drivers like me take home little more than £5 per hour some months, with earnings on a steady decline. Even taking a single day off is a luxury many can’t afford.
That’s why, with my friend and fellow Uber driver Yaseen Aslam, I made a decision to take Uber to court over the basic employment rights it was denying us.
In our case, Uber has fought to deny drivers their right to minimum-wage protection for all hours logged on the platform plus holiday pay.
I am proud to be a lead claimant in this successful case but in truth we should not be in court at all. Enforcing the law is the government’s job not ours.
The government promised us badly needed reforms to address problems of the gig economy, but its response has been just pitiful window dressing with little focus or resource to tackle the real problem – a lack of compliance and enforcement.
The 2016 tribunal ruled that Uber drivers were not self-employed and should be entitled to workers’ rights such as holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the minimum wage. Immediately after the tribunal, Uber announced it would appeal, and lost. Uber has said it will appeal to the Supreme Court.”
Case study first appeared in the Independent