Uber drivers are [10 Across] self-employed and should be [19 Down] the “national living wage”, a UK employment court has ruled in a landmark case which could affect tens of thousands of workers in the gig economy.
The ride-hailing [6 Across] could now be open to claims from all of its 40,000 [4 Down] in the UK, who are currently not entitled to holiday [7 Down], pensions or other workers’ rights. Uber immediately said it would appeal [22 Across] the ruling.
Employment experts said other firms with large self-employed workforces could now [2 Down] scrutiny of their working practices and the UK’s biggest [11 Down], Unite, announced it was setting [18 Across] a new unit to pursue cases of bogus self-employment.
[12 Down] by Citizens Advice has suggested that as many as 460,000 people could be falsely classified as self-employed, costing up to £314m a [17 Down] in lost tax and employer national insurance contributions. Four courier firms are already facing legal [6 Down] from cyclists who want similar recognition as staff [13 Across] and the rights that [15 Down] with that status, while delivery firm Hermes is [11 Across] investigation by HM Revenue & Customs.
The [21 Across] ruling could force a rethink of the gig economy business [8 Across], where companies use apps and the internet to match customers with workers. The firms [1 Down] not employ the workers, but take commission from their earnings, and many have become huge [5 Across] enterprises. Uber now operates around the world, with the company [3 Across] at more than £50bn.
The ruling is not the [14 Down] of the process for Uber. The firm will take the [20 Down] to the employment appeal tribunal, and following its decision there could be [23 Across] hearings in the court of appeal and then the supreme court. Any payments [9 Down] to drivers will not be calculated until that process is [16 Across].
SOURCE: The Guardian