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The U.K. Uber Decision and the Gig Economy Worker


The recent ruling of the U.K. Supreme Court on the employment status of Uber drivers has wide potential implications for the gig economy. Morag Ofili of Harbottle & Lewis discusses how the gig economy continues to disrupt the labor market, and its potential challenges for tax systems. The gig economy has been part of modern life for some time. In the gig economy, instead of a regular wage, workers get paid for the “gigs” they do. Our reliance on gig economy workers has increased significantly since the start of the pandemic, with many businesses and consumers depending on gig workers to deliver goods as lockdown restrictions limit the ability to trade in the usual ways.

In addition, as a result of Covid-19, many people who were reliant on income from steady employment have turned to gig work to supplement or replace their primary source of income.

Further disruption to the labor market was caused by the U.K. Supreme Court’s recent ruling that Uber drivers were “workers” (rather than self-employed) and were entitled to the basic rights enjoyed by workers—including minimum wage and workplace pensions. To come into line with the ruling, Uber recently announced that would reclassify its drivers as workers […]

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