Britain

Uber loses appeal over workers’ rights ruling

Taxi firm Uber has lost an appeal against a landmark ruling on the employment rights of its drivers.

Drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam won a case against the ride-hailing app last year after arguing they were workers and entitled to the minimum wage, sick pay, paid holiday and breaks.

During its failed attempt to overturn the decision at the Employment Appeal Tribunal in London, Uber claimed the ruling could deprive drivers of the "personal flexibility they value".

The taxi firm, which is battling TfL over its licence to operatein the capital, said it would appeal against Friday's judgement.

Image:The tech firm claims its drivers are 'partners' and not workers

In a statement, it said: "Almost all taxi and private hire drivers have been self-employed for decades, long before our app existed.

"The main reason why drivers use Uber is because they value the freedom to choose if, when and where they drive and so we intend to appeal."

Mr Farrar said he was "really disappointed" over Uber's intention to appeal, saying it had "an army of lawyers paid for by exploiting labour".

The driver added: "We can't give up because the case law is so important now that if we give up and give this victory to Uber, then the battle will be so much harder for everybody else that comes after us – not just Uber drivers, but people right across the economy.

"Because if Uber gets away with this, then everywhere you turn in Britain, industrial Britain, you'll have people under this sort of fake self-employed conditions, carrying all the risk of the business and have no worker rights."

Calling on Uber to "throw in the towel", TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "No company, however big or well-connected, is above the law.

"Uber must play by the rules and stop denying its drivers basic rights at work. This ruling should put gig economy employers on notice."

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