Uber Loses Appeal over Workers Rights
Following a shaky year Uber’s future in the UK again looks to be in the balance, after losing an appeal against a ruling that could now see its drivers classed as workers.
The initial ruling against the company came after two drivers - Yaseen Aslam and James Farrar - won an employment tribunal case after arguing that they should be classed as employees, citing Uber’s control over their working conditions as a key factor. The decision could entitle Uber drivers to holiday pay, paid sick days, the minimum wage, and other benefits currently enjoyed by most taxi drivers and the vast majority of the UK’s workforce.
The decision was supported by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain, who argued that companies operating in the so called “gig economy” have been actively choosing to “deprive workers of their rights”.
Speaking about the decision, Farrar said “I really hope it will stick this time and that Uber will obey the ruling of the court. I'd like Uber to sit down and work out how as quickly as possible that every driver who is working for Uber get the rights they are entitled to.” Farrar also urged transport authorities and the government to “step up and use their leverage to defend worker rights rather than turn a blind eye to sweatshop conditions”.
Uber has held firm on the stance that its drivers are self-employed, stating that 80% prefer their current “flexible” working status, and plans to launch another appeal against the decision. If the appeal is accepted the case may find its way to the Supreme Court, further delaying any action from the initial decision. Upon suggestion of a further appeal, the GMB had predictably harsh words, urging Uber “not to waste everyone's time and money dragging their lost cause to the Supreme Court.”