Socialist Worker

Judge rejects Uber appeal against employment rights

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2580

Ubers appeal against treating its drivers as workers has been turned down

Uber's appeal against treating its drivers as workers has been turned down (Pic: Elliott Brown/Flickr)


Uber taxi drivers celebrated the latest legal ruling against the firm last week.

The firm lost its appeal that drivers should not be classified as workers. Without the classification drivers would not have minimum statutory protections such as the minimum wage.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld its decision that any driver who had the firm’s app switched on was working for the company and should be entitled to a “worker” contract.

James Farrar is one of the two people who brought the initial employment tribunal claim against Uber. “It is time for the mayor of London, Transport for London and the transport secretary to step up and use their leverage to defend workers’ rights,” he said.

Appeals

It’s not clear if Uber will go on to the next stage of the appeals process or straight to the Supreme Court.

Uber’s acting general manager in Britain Tom Elvidge said, “Almost all taxi drivers have been self-employed long before our app existed.”

Yaseen Aslam, the other driver bringing the case against Uber, said, “The judge confirmed that Uber is unlawfully denying our rights.

“Companies are hiding behind technology, bogusly classifying people as self-employed so they can get away from paying minimum wage.

“That can’t be allowed to happen.”


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