Ride hailing firm Uber has lost a London court appeal against a ruling that its drivers should be classed as workers rather than self-employed.
The battle began last year when a tribunal ruled that drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam were Uber staff, and so entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and a minimum wage. Uber appealed the decision, contesting that its drivers were self-employed and under no obligation to use its booking application.
Uber has since also claimed that 80% of its drivers would rather be classed as self-employed. But the Employment Tribunal – which can be invoked when an employee believes they have been treated unfairly – upheld its original decision that Uber drivers who had the Uber app turned on were working for Uber London Ltd under a ‘worker’ contract.
Therefore, the Tribunal concluded, they were entitled to workers’ rights.
GMB, one of the UK’s largest general unions, called the ruling by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), a ‘landmark victory’ for workers’ rights. The decision could have ramifications for the gig economy, a system of work which does not commit a business or worker to set hours or rights.
Maria Ludkin, the GMB’s Legal Director, 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.”