Uber loses key appeal over drivers' rights

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

Uber suffers another setback in the UK as it loses employment tribunal over drivers' rights

In September, Uber appealed the 2016 tribunal ruling that found Uber had incorrectly classified a group of workers as self-employed rather than as contracted "workers".

Friday, an employment tribunal court in London upheld the lower court's ruling - emphasizing that the structure of Uber's labor model forces the company to treat drivers the same as other employees under British and European Union laws. The company this year has faced a wave of challenges for its brash business style and aggressive expansion, including allegations it does not properly vet its drivers and that it uses software to deceive authorities in areas where Uber's introduction was resisted.

The case is central to arguments about whether gig economy companies are relying on genuinely self-employed labour or are misclassifying employment status.

While Uber drivers can choose when they work, they are required to undertake to provide the work personally for Uber, which is one of the hallmarks for establishing an employment relationship.

BuzzFeed News understands Uber will proceed with further appeals, with the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court two possible stages in the appeal process. "TfL considers that Uber's approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications", TfL said in a statement.

The case could be joined with Pimlico Plumbers Ltd and another v Smith, another employment status case due to be heard in the Supreme Court in 2018.

Jenning said it's conceivable that some Uber drivers could end up being workers and some could end up being self-employed.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: 'Uber should throw in the towel and accept 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. Unions will expose nasty schemes that try and cheat workers out of the minimum wage and holiday pay. "The impact of this ruling could affect thousands of drivers, and not just drivers but millions of workers across the U.K".

"In the meantime there may be pressure on the Government to focus on the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practice's recommendation of creating "dependent contractors" who are eligible for worker's rights".

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