Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Uber – importance of app platforms for getting people into the job market shouldn’t be overlooked

Comments from Patrick Brodie, Employment Partner at law firm RPC:

“Often app platforms provide a low barrier of entry to work for individuals who want to return to the job market. Without such opportunity many of those individuals might otherwise find a return to work challenging.”

“This is a force for good, supporting wage earners by creating opportunities, including through flexibility of work.  But as a society we have, also, said that our working citizens must have minimum social protections to encourage and safeguard their economic participation in our communities.”

“The court has struck a balance between the benefit of a company in retaining the value of consumer goodwill and loyalty and, in return, the individual's right to have basic rights and protections.”

“If a company, to create a standardised consumer experience, imposes sufficiently tight controls on how a person provides their service to a consumer – with the added benefit to the company of keeping customer goodwill and loyalty – that person will be a worker.  In return for this loyalty and control bargain, which carries real commercial value, the company must give the worker basic rights and social protections.”

“The judgment confirms that what a contract might say about a person's engagement status will not determine that status; this would otherwise give the company the power to determine that status and so avoid protections afforded by our laws.”