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Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Uber loses appeal in United Kingdom employment rights case

Uber loses appeal in United Kingdom employment rights case

"The tribunal relies on the assertion that drivers are required to take 80% of trips sent to them when logged into the app". The practice is found in other "gig economy" companies, like TaskRabbit, where people work on demand through a digital marketplace. Uber in particular has faced a number of legal challenges.

"GMB is delighted the EAT made the correct decision to uphold the original employment tribunal ruling". As drivers who use Uber know, this has never been the case in the UK. "Uber should start putting their house in order immediately", says Paul Jennings, a partner at Bates Wells Braithwaite, who were representing Aslam and Farrar.

Uber then appealed against the shock move last month, which allowed its drivers to continue operating in the capital. "We anticipate that tens of thousands drivers will now seek to make substantial back-dated claims". The case could go to the Supreme Court.

It's a major decision that could cost Uber millions of pounds and make the San Francisco-headquartered company think twice about its United Kingdom business operations.

The case could be joined with Pimlico Plumbers Ltd and another v Smith, another employment status case due to be heard in the Supreme Court in 2018.

'Uber can not go on flouting United Kingdom law with impunity and depriving people of their minimum wage rights, ' he said.

Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the TUC, ... 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.

"The cloud of uncertainty looming over the gig economy has undoubtedly made new businesses in the United Kingdom cautious about building a business model around a self-employed ad-hoc workforce, which may be further stagnating growth and therefore damaging the United Kingdom economy".

Farrar, himself a union representative for Uber drivers, argued that, after commission and operating costs, drivers were earning only £5.68 ($7.46) per hour, 15 percent below the United Kingdom minimum wage.

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