In the hustle and bustle of the work day, it is sometimes difficult to remember what responsibilities are part of your job and what are not. It is easy to forget what your employer is and isn’t able to do. However, it is important to remember that rules because they exist to protect all parties involved.
In what has been called the ‘Employment Law Case of the Year’, Uber is currently facing legal action from drivers who believe they should be supported with rights and regulations like any employee despite being self-employed individuals.
This case is interesting because it reflects the new status quo in which companies and organisations are hiring and outsourcing work to self-employed individuals rather than keeping work within the company. This outsourcing or maintenance of ‘workers’ as opposed to ‘employers’ can reflect the impact of unbearable workloads, leaving an organisation with no choice but to offload some of the work to external sources. However, it can also be seen as a cost-saving method.
Uber’s main argument revolves around the above theory, that the drivers’ currently seeking legal action have misunderstood their role. Uber is a technology company that puts people in touch with potential drivers, and the drivers are given greater flexibility in their role with Uber.
So, what is the difference between a worker and an employee?
Most will argue that the key difference lies with the duties and obligations of both parties. For example, a worker is entitled to the basic employment rights such as holiday pay, the right not have deductions made from their salary and entitlements to the national minimum wage. An employment relationship will also be evident from the amount of control that an employer can exercise over the employee.
Whether or not Uber will be successful in their legal battle against the drivers, it remains important that employees know their rights and employers ensure there is no miscommunication regarding their status in the workplace.
If you believe you are being treated unfairly at work, or would like some legal advice in relation to Employment Law, please do not hesitate to contact Freedman & Gopalan Solicitors on 02 8917 8700.