December 6, 2017
The gig economy and workers’ rights are among the most prominent themes of our age. In the future of employment – in particular, what it means to be employed or self-employed – they are critical. Catapulted to the heart of this debate is Uber, which has deployed its ride-hailing platform app in nearly 500 cities around the world since its San Francisco launch seven years ago. But in the UK and elsewhere, it has run into myriad legal problems. Most recent among them, Uber lost a hearing at an Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) in London in a case brought by co-claimants, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam. The verdict in favour of the two Uber drivers poses a threat to the fundamental premise that has fuelled the meteoric rise of the gig economy: that workers work for themselves and not for the apps which rely on them.