The Uber saga is far from over. A former Uber Eats worker recently filed her appeal in the Fair Work Commission in an attempt to overturn a decision that found she was not an employee of the gig economy giant.
Backed by the Transport Workers Union, the former worker is seeking to bring an unfair dismissal claim against Uber Eats which was initially rejected on the basis that she was an independent contractor and not an employee.
Allegedly sacked for being 10 minutes late, the worker claims that Uber exercised influence and control over the way she worked through the Uber ratings system. This, combined with community guidelines issued by the company, meant she was effectively subject to a performance management or disciplinary procedure.
The Fair Work Ombudsman recently concluded a two-year investigation finding that Uber drivers were not employees. However, despite requests from the media and unions to get a better understanding of the FWO's reasoning, the government watchdog has remained cagey about its findings. This is unfortunate given the level of uncertainty that surrounds gig worker engagement.
That said, this is the first time a worker has taken on Uber with the backing of legal representation. It's our bet this will be a fight to the death (or at least to the High Court) to hopefully obtain some much-needed clarity.