2021 has already been a significant year for the interpretation of worker status. In February, Uber lost the final round of a claim brought by some of its drivers and last week the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (“IWGB”) lost its appeal on behalf of some of Deliveroo’s riders. Both cases considered what constitutes a “worker” for key employment rights.

In the “Uber” case the Supreme Court ruled that Uber drivers should be treated as “workers” and thus granted certain employment rights such as national minimum wage and paid holidays. In the “Deliveroo” case, the Court of Appeal ruled that Deliveroo drivers should not be treated as workers and thus able to bargain collectively via a trade union. These judgements may seem contradictory, but both were based on specific and differing facts and considered different aspects of the legal test for worker status.

Waterfront’s Employment Associate Jamie Webster looked closely at the recent Supreme Court ruling in an article for Lawyer Monthly.