A UK Superior Court knocks back the Uber independent contractor model ( pending any further appeal by Uber). The decision affirmed an earlier Tribunal finding that Uber drivers were workers. The decision comes just over a month after the Fair Work Commission found a Foodora driver an employee. Is time running out against so called regular ‘independent contractor’ engagements in Australia as well?

The UK Court of Appeal held (at para 63) amongst other matters that-

”In deciding whether someone comes within (the meaning of ‘worker’ within the relevant UK Employment Relations Act 1996), the fact that he or she signed a document will be relevant evidence, but it is not conclusive where the terms are standard and non-negotiable and where the parties are in an unequal bargaining position. Tribunals should take a “realistic and worldly-wise”, “sensible and robust” approach to the determination of what the true position is.”

UBER B.V. (“UBV”) & Ors v Yaseen ASLAM,
James FARRAR and Robert DAWSON & others [2018] EWCA Civ 2748 ( date of decision 19 December 2018).