Major blow: Uber loses appeal in UK employment rights case

Case can have serious ramifications for labour rights in gig economy

The trouble for ride-hailing app Uber does not seem to end. Within a month of Transport for London (TfL) suspending its license to operate in London, now a UK-based Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has stated in a landmark decision that Uber drivers should be classed as “workers”.

The US company said it would launch a further appeal against the EAT decision.

British drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, backed by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), had successfully argued at an employment appeal tribunal last year that Uber exerted significant control over them to provide an on-demand taxi service and had responsibilities in terms of workers’ rights such as holiday pay and minimum wage.

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The San Francisco-based company had appealed against this decision saying the drivers using its platform are independent contractors and under no obligation to use its booking app.

Uber presents itself as a technology platform, connecting riders and drivers and taking a fee in the process. Uber also claimed 80 per cent of its drivers would rather be classed as self employed.

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