Uber loses employment rights appeal over drivers' self-employed status

  • Uber loses employment rights appeal over drivers' self-employed status

Uber loses employment rights appeal over drivers' self-employed status

In a separate case a year ago, two British Uber drivers, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, successfully argued to an employment tribunal that as their actions were controlled by Uber, they should be treated as workers instead of as self-employed.

Although Uber claims that 80 per cent of its workforce would rather be self-employed, clocking on and off as they see fit, a tribunal ruled a year ago that two drivers - James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam - should be considered staff.

Uber drivers, whose contracts of employment are created to make them appear self-employed, successfully argued in an employment tribunal that they are in fact workers.

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. TfL took the decision on the basis that it is not a "fit and proper" company to run taxi services in London. 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. As drivers who use Uber know, this has never been the case in the UK.

Paul Jennings, partner at Bates Wells Braithwaite, which is representing the drivers, told Business Insider that the ruling could prove to be very expensive for Uber if drivers seek to claim back pay that they may have missed out on.

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

If Uber loses the case in the Supreme Court, it could be handed a hefty bill.

'Uber can not go on flouting United Kingdom law with impunity and depriving people of their minimum wage rights, ' he said.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: 'Uber should throw in the towel and accept today's judgment.

Uber has failed to overturn a landmark legal judgement over drivers' working rights, in a fresh setback for the company in the UK.

'Sham self-employment exploits people and scams the taxman'.

United Kingdom labor union GMB hailed a "monumental victory" over the firm following the case.