The Court of Appeal has just announced its majority opinion that drivers who work for Uber are...well...Uber's workers, and so they have the same rights as other workers (essentially, claims to the minimum wage and paid time off). The courts have arrived at that conclusion by applying the duck test, i.e. if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck then it's absurd for Uber to argue that it's not a duck. By this reasoning, most people would say that Uber drivers are definitely workers because they look like workers. We can all identify a worker when we see them there, working. But wait, what about the law of contract? Do legal outcomes simply depend on how the arrangement looks to the naked eye, meaning that the actual contract agreed between them is irrelevant?
Everybody knows that if you ever have an idea about something that would be really cool to try out, the first thing you have to do is hire a lawyer to give you advice on how to achieve your dreams. Conventional wisdom is that it would be too risky to try and achieve anything without legal advice, and absolutely foolhardy even to attempt anything when your lawyer has told you that you're probably going to fail because <legal this legal that>. I would like to disclose a truth well understood by anyone with even the slightest insight into the functioning of legal systems: law is trivial, my friends, and of all the things you need to consider when planning a business venture the law should be the least of your concerns. I refer, of course, to the private law that regulates private transactions between consenting adults. [Editor: 'private' in this context has no salacious connotations; it means transactions not involving the state or government].
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