4 Uber drivers declared employees by New Zealand court

The New Zealand Employment Court’s ruling ensures that these drivers are not considered independent contractors, and will enjoy various benefits including sick leave and guaranteed hours

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Four Uber drivers in New Zealand who had sought to be declared employees of Uber and not just independent contractors, have won their case. The Employment Court of New Zealand ruled in their favour and declared that they were employees of the ridesharing company, and hence, will be protected under the employment law of the Country.

That means, these four drivers will be entitled to not just minimum wage, but also holiday pay, guaranteed hours, sick leave and the right to question unjustified termination and be part of unions and indulge in collective bargaining. The Court also clarified that while the ruling is presently applicable to the four drivers, it may have a broader impact.

The Court ruled that these drivers were certainly not operating businesses of their own, but only serving as drivers for Uber; that it was Uber that was running its own business, handling everything from marketing its services, setting prices and defining the nature of service provided, and so on. The Company’s drivers and their skills were being used by Uber to grow its business. Therefore, clearly, Uber has employed these drivers and requires them to be courteous, professional and offer good quality service just as any employer.

The Court, therefore, ruled that the four drivers in question, Julian Ang, Mea’ole Keil, Nureddin Abdurahman and Praful ‘Bill’’ Rama are in an ‘employment relationship’ and are, therefore, protected by employment law.

Uber, however, is not ready to accept the ruling and has revealed its intention to appeal the decision.

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