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20 - Dec - 2018

Uber’s Appeal Case: Court Upholds that Uber Drivers are Workers

Uber has lost an appeal case that sought to declare its drivers as self-employed rather than workers.

The landmark ruling was made by an employment tribunal in 2016 paving the way for drivers in the UK to receive holiday pay and the national minimum wage.

Two of three senior judges in the Court of Appeal ruled that the decision was “plainly correct”.

Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton and Lord Justice Bean agreed that the ruling was correct. Sir Terence said, “As to the reality, not only do we see no reason to disagree with the factual conclusions of the (tribunal) as to the working relationship between Uber and the drivers, but we consider that the (tribunal) was plainly correct.”

Lord Justice Underhill, who opposed the tribunal’s ruling said the issues raised in the appeal were matters of policy that parliament is better placed to address. He added that “The whole question of whether and how to adapt existing employment law protections to the development of the so-called gig economy, and in particular to the use of service-provision platforms such as Uber, is under active review by the Government at present.” The Evening Standard reported.

Uber said that since one of the judges agreed with their case, they would take the matter to the Supreme Court.

An Uber spokesperson said: “This decision was not unanimous and does not reflect the reasons why the vast majority of drivers choose to use the Uber app. We have been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court and will do so.

“Almost all taxi and private hire drivers have been self-employed for decades, long before our app existed … If drivers were classified as workers they would inevitably lose some of the freedom and flexibility that comes with being their own boss.”

Mr Farrar, who is chairman of the United Private Hire Drivers branch of the IWGB union, said: “I am delighted today's ruling brings us closer to the ending Uber's abuse of precarious workers made possible by tactics of contract trickery, psychological manipulation and old-fashioned bullying.”

“This is nothing more than a cynical ploy to delay inevitable changes to its business model while it pursues a record breaking $120bn stock market flotation.

“It's time for Uber to come clean with all its stakeholders and abide by the decision of the courts.”

The GMB Union asked Uber to “just accept the verdict” after losing three times in a row.

By Airport Pickups London