U.K. Supreme Court rules Uber drivers are 'workers' entitled to minimum wage, benefits

Uber in London
(Image credit: Peter Summers/Getty Images)

Britain's Supreme Court ruled unanimously Friday that drivers for the ride-hailing service Uber are company "workers," not independent contractors, and are therefore entitled to the national minimum wage, paid annual leave, and other benefits. The court also agreed with lower courts that Uber drivers are on the clock when they are logged in to the app, ready to accept passengers, not — as Uber had argued — only when they are actually driving people to their destination.

Uber has 65,000 active drivers in the U.K., The Associated Press reports, and the ruling threatens to upend its entire business model in the country. "Questions still remain about how the new classification will work, and how it affects gig economy workers who work not only for Uber, but also for other competing apps," BBC News reports. This was Uber's final appeal, after losing in three lower tribunals starting in 2016.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.