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Employment ruling: Uber loses and workers win

1st March 2021 by Robin Watson

Categories: What's New?

The Supreme Court has ruled that Uber drivers are not self-employed and are workers. This means that they are entitled to receive basic employment rights such as minimum wage; holiday pay; pension and other important protective rights.

There were many factors taken into account by the court, but Uber was not able to successfully argue that the drivers were not employed. It is striking that the court restated what is has said before about written agreements, that simply trying to use contractual terms to state whether an individual is employed or not will not work. The court and employment tribunal will always look at the reality of the relationship.

The case has taken many years to be heard and it is likely that many workers will question their own circumstances and rely on the Uber case. Uber now faces having to a potentially huge pay-out to the successful drivers for back pay.

“The ‘Gig Economy’ has been running faster than the courts can keep up with, but this case evens up the playing-field” says Robin Watson, Employment Law Partner at Laceys solicitors.

“This is a huge victory for workers and a huge threat to businesses that rely on non-traditional ways to engage people. These businesses must act now to comply with the ruling, or face claims” added Robin.

Click here to read more on this story

Business owners and individuals concerned about how the case impacts on them are encouraged to contact Robin Watson in confidence on 01202 755204 or email


Robin Watson

Partner — Employment and Immigration

Direct dial: 01202 755202


“Robin provided excellent and honest support during an incredibly difficult time. Robin's advice and knowledge were exceptional as was the compassion shown towards me throughout this process.”

Christine Stafford

Robin studied law at the University of Southampton before achieving Distinction in a postgraduate law diploma at Bournemouth University in 2011 and being awarded the Dorset Magistrates’ Association Excellence in Advocacy Award.

Robin qualified as a solicitor with Laceys in 2011, and is now one of Laceys partners, specialising in employment law advising employers, HR Directors and managers on all aspects of complex employment law and day-to-day HR issues.

In addition, Robin completed a demanding course and examination process and qualified as a Solicitor-Advocate early on in his career. This entitles Robin to appear in all civil courts and enhances the service he can provide to clients.

Robin is able to bring his previous experience in management outside of the law and also, understands the real demands and issues involved in HR. Robin takes responsibility for the HR of Laceys which includes circa. 100 employees and so has experienced what it is really like to deal with frontline HR issues and his clients genuinely benefit from that. It enables Robin to give practical and clear advice based on real experience, as well as utilising his legal knowledge and experience.

Robin has advised and represented a national hotel and restaurant group concerning multiple redundancies and general ongoing employment law/HR support and also recently advised and represented a financial services organisation in a High Court contractual dispute.

Robin has previously advised a local charity regarding potential pay claims and represented a senior charity executive.

As part of his service Robin likes to provide training to his clients and their HR teams.

Away from work Robin enjoys cycling, cooking and eating. Lately, Robin has (again) started sketching and is trying to convince himself that he has a talent!

To find out more about Robin becoming Partner and why he chose to specialise in Employment law click here;

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