A group of Uber drivers from Sydney and Melbourne have launched legal action in the Federal Court to determine whether they and thousands of other gig economy drivers are entitled to minimum rates of pay and other protections as employees.
Harmers Workplace Lawyers has enlisted Bret Walker, SC, and barrister Sheryn Omeri, who won a similar case against Uber in the UK.
The four drivers, two from Sydney and two from Melbourne, allege Uber has breached the Fair Work Act by not keeping records of their employment, and by not providing pay slips. The court will need to determine whether drivers are employees or independent contractors conducting their own business, as asserted by Uber.
Harmers, which is providing its services on a pro-bono basis, said the applicants were not seeking financial compensation as individuals, but the court could order a financial penalty to be paid for a breach of civil penalty provisions of the Fair Work Act. The applicants would ask the court to order that any financial penalty be paid to the Rideshare Driver Network, which represents thousands of Uber drivers across the country.A spokeswoman for Uber said it had received notice of the court matter on Friday. “We will review it and respond in due course,” she said. “Australian courts and tribunals, including the Fair Work Commission, have consistently and repeatedly found that driver-partners using the Uber app are not employees of Uber.”
Uber has so far won cases in the commission against drivers who, without legal representation, had tried to claim rights as employees, and last year settled a case with a former Uber Eats driver Amita Gupta.
Read the full story at Uber drivers launch test case in Federal Court of Australia