Uber & Auto Enrolment

A recent Employment Tribunal (Aslam & Ors v Uber BV & Ors [2016] EW Misc B68 (ET) (28 October 2016)) has ruled that the two drivers (who were the test case) who provide services to gig economy stalwart Uber are “workers” within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

This means they will be entitled to a limited number of employment rights (but not those accruing to ’employees’ – which this case was not about).  As widely reported, amongst other rights, they will be entitled to:

  • 6 weeks’ paid annual leave each year
  • a maximum 48 hour average working week, and rest breaks
  • the national minimum wage (and the national living wage)
  • protection of the whistleblowing legislation.

As they are not employees, they will not be entitled to:

  • the ability to claim unfair dismissal
  • the right to a statutory redundancy payment
  • the benefit of the implied term of trust and confidence
  • the protection of TUPE, if Uber sells its business

However, not much has been made of the impact on the position in respect of auto enrolment.  Some comments have appeared in Pensions Age of 31 October, which seemed to adopt the view that it did bring them within the definition of “jobholders” for the purposes of auto enrolment. A spokesman from the Pensions Regulator said the regulator would be looking closely at the judgment and was “considering” whether Uber would be obliged to auto-enrol drivers.