Uber loses workers' rights appeal: Here's how employment experts have reacted

13 November, 2017, 02:17 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Uber loses appeal in landmark UK case over its drivers' employment rights

In a separate case a year ago, two British Uber drivers, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, successfully argued to an employment tribunal that as their actions were controlled by Uber, they should be treated as workers instead of as self-employed. Eady concluded that the structures are not the same and that Uber must pay its British drivers a "national living wage".

The company, which argues that its drivers are self-employed and that it is a mere intermediary between drivers and passengers, has around 50,000 drivers in the United Kingdom but its model has been criticised in some quarters.

Drivers, backed by the IWGB union, argued that they should be classified as "workers" with rights such as minimum wage and holiday pay, rather than self-employed as Uber claimed. "Not just for us, but for nearly every worker in the United Kingdom".

Potential Uber drivers are "interviewed" and successful applicants go through an induction. "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", Uber U.K. acting general manager Tom Elvidge said in a statement Friday.

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"The tribunal relies on the assertion that drivers are required to take 80% of trips sent to them when logged into the app. As drivers who use Uber know, this has never been the case". "If they want to continue here they just have to accept these are the basic standards".

"Over the a year ago we have made a number of changes to our app to give drivers even more control". I suffered a lot, so have so many other drivers.

The GMB union said a ruling by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) was a "landmark victory" for workers' rights, especially in the gig economy.

"It's not only morally wrong to have drivers denied their workers' rights, but with many feeling they must work long hours, with few breaks, just to get by, it also presents a serious risk to public safety", said Labour's London Assembly economy spokesperson, Fiona Twycross. "GMB urges the company not to waste everyone's time and money dragging their lost cause to the Supreme Court". No company, however big or well connected, is above the law. The practice is found in other "gig economy" companies, like TaskRabbit, where people work on demand through a digital marketplace. This business model reduces costs for the company and means employees don't need formal contracts.

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