Uber drivers in the UK to be reclassified as workers following court ruling

The change takes effect Wednesday.

Uber drivers in the UK will be classified as workers soon. 
Angela Lang/CNET

Uber drivers in the UK will soon be considered workers for the company, as reported earlier by Bloomberg on Tuesday. They'll receive minimum wage, vacation pay and other benefits starting Wednesday. 

More than 70,000 drivers will become Uber workers this week after the UK Supreme Court ruled in February against the company for how it designated its drivers. Along with minimum wage and vacation days, the new workers will also be enrolled in a pension plan; have free health insurance to cover sickness, injury, and maternity and paternity payments; and they'll still have the option to work when and where they want. 

"This is an important day for drivers in the UK," said Jamie Heywood, the company's regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, in a statement Tuesday. "Uber drivers will receive an earnings guarantee, holiday pay and a pension, and will retain the flexibility they currently value. Uber is just one part of a larger private-hire industry, so we hope that all other operators will join us in improving the quality of work for these important workers who are an essential part of our everyday lives."

February's ruling by the UK Supreme Court came after years of legal battles between the company and drivers that started in 2016. US drivers have fought for years to be designated as employees, but California voters approved a ballot measure in November keeping gig workers as independent contractors.