RNZ (Radio New Zealand) reports that New Zealand’s Employment Court said that four Uber drivers were employees and not independent contractors. RNZ reports:
Four Uber drivers from Wellington have been deemed employees of the international ride-hailing service in a landmark Employment Court decision.
In today’s judgement, Chief Judge Christina Inglis found each driver was not an independent contractor but in an employment relationship and said the decision may have a broader impact.
“Each of the plaintiff drivers was in an employment relationship when carrying out driving work for Uber and is entitled to a declaration of status accordingly.”
Chief Judge Inglis noted that while such a declaration attached only to the four drivers in this case, “it may well have broader impact, particularly where, as here, there is apparent uniformity in the way in which the companies operate, and the framework under which drivers are engaged”.
The case was filed in July last year and heard in Wellington.
The unions, FIRST Union and E tū, jointly sought a declaration the drivers were employees and therefore entitled to the rights and protections under New Zealand employment law. These included the minimum wage, guaranteed hours, holiday pay, sick leave, KiwiSaver contributions, the right to challenge an unfair dismissal, and the right to unionise and collectively bargain.