Uber loses appeal over workers’ rights

Nathan Kay 14 November 2017

Taxi app service is also battling to keep its licence in London.

Uber has lost its bid to overturn a tribunal decision to give drivers workers’ rights such as the minimum wage.

The taxi app firm said it would appeal the decision made by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) with higher courts in London.

The news comes in the middle of a troubled few months for the ride-hailing car service which is also battling to keep its license in London.

Last year, during an employment tribunal, two drivers argued that “Uber exerted significant control over them to provide an on-demand taxi service” and they should be granted workers’ rights which included minimum pay, holidays and breaks.

Although the recent ruling does not automatically apply to all 50,000 Uber drivers in the UK, it could become the beginning of a flood of complaints surrounding working conditions with the company.

What’s more, the ruling has the potential to open the floodgates for hundreds of thousands of workers across the UK who work in a similar freelance fashion for other companies including Deliveroo.

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, which backed the two drivers, told Reuters that they were “choosing to deprive workers of their rights.”

“Today’s victory is further proof, as if any more was needed, that the law is clear and these companies are simply choosing to deprive workers of their rights,” said Jason Moyer-Lee, the IWGB’s general secretary.

Uber says its drivers enjoy the flexibility of being self-employed, which only entitles them to basic cover such as Health and Safety, and they will continue to fight the ruling in the coming months.

The US-based firm has faced several legal issues and regulatory problems around the world in recent years. Hungary has banned the service, so has Denmark and other nations including the United Kingdom are taking them to task on issues which could damage their business.

The car service will next appear in court on December 11th to appeal against a decision made by London’s transport authority to strip it of its licence.

Check out the true cost of London’s Uber ban.

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