Employee rulings in New York and London to have "staggering" impact on the likes of Amazon and Uber

 
Oliver Gill
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Olly Murs Delivers Gifts For Amazon Prime Now
City AM has been unable to confirm the employee rights provided to Olly Murs while delivering parcels for Amazon (Source: Getty)

Amazon has agreed to stump up $100,000 (£82,000) in back-pay to a New York delivery driver whose wage packet was deducted for lunch breaks he didn’t manage to take.

In a ruling many American delivery contractors will welcome coming up to Christmas, the state attorney general said the settlement will mean short-term workers are entitled to receive pay in lieu of missed breaks due to, for example, heavy workloads.

Read more: Amazon's share price slumps on disappointing results

The news came on the day a landmark ruling in London is expected on whether Uber drivers are entitled to take paid holiday and sick pay.

An employment tribunal is due to rule on whether Uber is acting within the law in not providing basic employment rights.

Drivers are independent, self-employed contractors rather than being directly employed by Uber, the firm said – its role is simply to connect supply (drivers) with demand (customers needing to get somewhere).

The tribunal will rule on two cases initially, paving the way for 17 further cases.

Read more: A legal decision on the status of Uber drivers is imminent

The rulings are likely to be closely monitored on both sides of the Atlantic by platform firms who use technology such as smart phones to provide flexible working to thousands of self-employed contractors.

This will be the first such ruling in the UK involving Uber, although it has attempted to settle similar cases in the US.

"The financial implications are certainly staggering if they have to pay the minimum wage and provide other employment benefits," employer lawyer Alex Mizzi of Howard Kennedy told the BBC.

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