What does the Uber Supreme Court hearing mean for Addison Lee drivers?
Over the summer there was a lot of media attention around Uber workers’ rights claims, but they are not the only drivers that could be affected by the judgment. Here, solicitor Liana Wood explains what the hearing means for Addison Lee drivers.
You might have heard that a group of Uber drivers are fighting to be classed as workers, but what you might not know is that Addison Lee drivers are fighting a similar battle.
Because the Addison Lee claim started slightly later than the Uber claim, it is not as far along in the court system.
This means that the Supreme Court’s decision in the Uber case is likely to impact Addison Lee drivers.
What’s the claim about?
Like Uber, Addison Lee says its drivers don’t work for the company. Instead, they claim drivers are self-employed independent contractors, operating their own businesses.
By this definition, they are not classified as workers and therefore not entitled to the same rights as other workers.
We believe it’s clear from the way the company operates that this is not the case, so we are fighting for these drivers to be classed as workers and given the rights that this status affords.
What’s happened so far?
Similarly to Uber, an Employment Tribunal in 2017 found that a group of Addison Lee drivers, represented by Leigh Day, were workers.
This decision was appealed by Addison Lee, but the appeal was dismissed by judges at the Employment Appeal Tribunal in 2018.
How does the Uber Supreme Court hearing impact Addison Lee drivers?
After being unsuccessful once, Addison Lee is currently awaiting their second chance to appeal in the Court of Appeal.
This appeal has been put on hold until a decision has been reached about Uber in the Supreme Court. A decision which we are expecting imminently.
The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases which means this is Uber’s final chance to argue that their drivers are not workers.
There’s no way of knowing what the decision in the Supreme Court will be, but we think it’s highly likely that Uber’s latest appeal will once again be unsuccessful.
If our prediction is correct, it is likely to be very helpful to the claims being brought by Addison Lee drivers given the similarities between the cases.
As confident as we are that the Supreme Court judges will rule in favour of Uber drivers, even in the case of a shock judgment, Addison Lee drivers still have a strong case which we believe will prevail in the Court of Appeal just as it did in the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal.