Uber loses UK tribunal appeal over driver employment rights

Nov 13, 2017 · techcrunch.com

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Another blow for Uber’s UK business: The company has lost its appeal against an employment tribunal ruling which last year judged that the Uber drivers who brought the case should be classified as workers, rather than self-employed contractors — meaning they are entitled to benefits such as holiday pay and the UK’s National Minimum Wage.

Uber’s appeal against the ruling was heard in September. But the Employment Appeal Tribunal has now upheld the original verdict — denying a first appeal.

And while the original employment tribunal ruling only applies to the group of individuals who brought the case it sets a legal precedent for other Uber drivers to mount challenges over their own employment status.

The company has previously said that if it had to provide all the ~50,000 ‘self-employed’ Uber drivers on its platform in the UK with workers’ rights it would cost the company "tens of millions" of pounds.

In its appeal, Uber had sought to argue that it merely acts as an agent on the driver’s behalf — likening its operation to that of a traditional minicab operator. Clearly the tribunal was not swayed.

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