Only three months ago, UBER drivers were considered to be ‘workers’ by the Court of Appeal. This had a huge impact on the drivers in that they are now entitled to paid holidays, National Minimum Wage and other rights and benefits afforded to other ‘workers’ or employees. It also had a huge impact for UBER on the flip side in that they now have to ensure that the drivers receive the benefits of the new rights afforded to them.
Three months later, the drivers are back in the news. Although not strictly an employment issue, it is their employment which has brought them back into the media.
A number of UBER and private hire taxi drivers are suing the London Mayor Sadiq Khan for discrimination. The lawsuit has come about following a rule has been introduced which requires UBER and minicar drivers to pay the congestion charge in London which is currently £11.50 per day. At present London black cabs are exempt from the charge.
The drivers are arguing that this is indirect discrimination on the basis that they say that this affects more ethnic minority drivers and as such amounts to indirect discrimination.
The Union representing the drivers has issued a pre-action letter to Sadiq Khan asking him to reverse the decision failing which, they will make an application to the High Court for Judicial Review.
It will be interesting to see what comes of this as according to the statistics, the London black cab drivers are predominantly white, whereas, private and UBER drivers are mostly from ethnic backgrounds.
Whether the Courts would take the bold step to rule in the drivers’ failure who knows. Sadiq Khan has until 6 March to reverse the decision, failing which he is likely to be in Court.
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