Taxi/ride-hailing firm Uber has lost its appeal against a ruling stating its drivers should be classed as workers rather than as self-employed.
Last year a tribunal ruled that drivers Yaseen Aslam and James Farrar were Uber staff and therefore entitled to the minimum wage, rest breaks and holiday pay.
Uber appealed the ruling, arguing that its drivers were self-employed and under no obligation to use its app to book rides. The company also claimed that as many as 80% of its drivers would prefer to keep their status as self-employed.
However, the Employment Tribunal upheld the original ruling that any Uber driver who had their Uber app switched on was indeed working for Uber London Ltd under a “worker” contract. Therefore they were entitled to workers’ rights.
In London alone, Uber has around 40,000 registered drivers, and is currently fighting to retain its licence to carry on operating in the capital and has also faced legal challenges and regulatory setbacks in cities around the world.
The GMB union said the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s (EAT) decision was a ‘landmark victory’ for workers’ rights in the current gig economy.
The GMB’s legal director, Maria Ludkin, said:
Uber must now face up to its responsibilities and give its workers the rights to which they are entitled.
GMB urges the company not to waste everyone’s time and money dragging their lost cause to the Supreme Court.