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Uber Loses Employment Appeals Tribunal Over Drivers’ Working Rights

November 14th, 2017

Global transportation technology company Uber has lost its case at the Employment Appeals Tribunal, appealing a decision made against the company last year that it was failing to ensure its drivers were paid the minimum wage or received the minimum amount of paid holiday.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the ruling was made last week (November 10th) to uphold the decision from 2016 – which could see the company having to give its drivers rights like minimum holiday pay and minimum wage, which it says could damage the way it runs its business.

Uber’s argument is that its drivers are in fact self-employed and Uber itself is simply a go-between for drivers and passengers. But this ruling is yet another blow for the brand, which saw its London operating license stripped late last year after Transport for London said it wasn’t a proper operator.

The appeal judge was quoted by the news source as saying: “The Employment Tribunal was entitled to conclude there was a contract between Uber London Limited (ULL) and the drivers whereby the drivers personally undertook work for ULL as part of its business of providing transportation services to passengers in the London area.”

Commenting on this latest development, Sam Dumitriu – research economist at the Adam Smith Institute – noted that the ruling may well see Uber having to schedule shifts and slash pay at profitable times, which will mean fewer choices for drivers and longer wait times for passengers.

He added that part of the problem is the reliance on employment legislation drafted and written up years before the term ‘app’ was even in existence – and minicab drivers have been classed as self-employed traditionally. As such, the law needs to be updated.

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