A February 2021 decision of the United Kingdom Supreme Court concerning the legal status of Uber drivers in London attracted significant levels of media interest in many countries, including in Australia.
The case turned upon the interpretation of the term 'worker' in British employment legislation, and as such, is not of direct relevance in the Australian context. Nevertheless, it can confidently be anticipated that the decision in the Uber Case will be brought to the attention of courts and tribunals, and will be the subject of further debate, in Australia and elsewhere – as evidenced by the recent decision of Commissioner Cambridge in Diego Franco v Deliveroo Australia Pty Ltd.2
The decision in the Uber Case, and the world-wide interest it generated, serves to highlight the problems legal systems everywhere are experiencing in categorising work relationships at a time of profound technological, social and economic change – changes which are currently compounded by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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