Uber loses appeal in landmark United Kingdom case over its drivers' employment rights

Uber loses appeal in landmark United Kingdom case over its drivers' employment rights

Uber loses appeal in landmark United Kingdom case over its drivers' employment rights

A British employment tribunal has delivered a major blow to Uber, ruling that its drivers needed to be classified as workers and receive a minimum wage, sick leave and paid time off.

Workers in the "gig economy" are entitled to employment rights such as holiday pay, breaks and a minimum wage, a tribunal ruled.

In effect, the court says Uber drivers should be treated as workers, and thus deserve basic workers' rights, such as minimum wage and holiday pay.

The US-based company has launched a separate appeal against that decision. Tom Elvidge, Uber's acting chief of British operations, said Uber would again appeal the decision, potentially bringing the case to either the Court of Appeal or the British Supreme Court, according to the Times. "This is clearly not the case with people who drive through Uber - they choose when and how long they work for by logging on or off the app", said Chris Bryce, chief executive of the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed. Friday's ruling will likely be appealed.

Given the number of companies operating a similar business model to Uber, leap-frogging the Court of Appeal appears to be a distinct possibility.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal dismissed the company's appeal against the "landmark" ruling made in 2016.

"Uber must now face up to its responsibilities and give its workers the rights to which they are entitled".

The TUC union general secretary, Frances O'Grady, called on Uber not to appeal today's judgment.

The company has faced a fraught few months in London, its biggest market outside the United States, with over 40,000 minicab drivers and 3.5 million passengers.

"This ruling should put gig economy employers on notice. The Uber drivers' union GMB deserve huge credit for their work on this case".

Farrar, himself a union representative for Uber drivers, argued that, after commission and operating costs, drivers were earning only £5.68 ($7.46) per hour, 15 percent below the United Kingdom minimum wage.

"It is astonishing that the employment tribunal granted the two drivers worker status".

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