31 October 2016
Uber to appeal tribunal judgment
Uber has announced it will appeal the tribunal judgment that its drivers should have protected employment rights, a ruling which could affect thousands of the firm's workers.
The Central London Employment Tribunal ruled that workers for the taxi-app firm are entitled to holiday pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and breaks.
The GMB union says the outcome of the case could have "major" implications for more than 30,000 drivers across England and Wales.
James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam brought the case on behalf of 19 Uber drivers who argued they were formally employed by the based company and not self-employed as designated by Uber.
In the judgment it said: "The notion that Uber in London is a mosaic of 30,000 small businesses linked by a common platform is faintly ridiculous."
The GMB's legal director Maria Ludkin said: "This is a monumental victory that will have a hugely positive impact on over 30,000 drivers in London and across England and Wales and for thousands more in other industries where bogus self-employment is rife.
"Uber drivers and other directed workers do have legal rights at work. The question for them now is how those rights are enforced in practice. The clear answer is that the workforce must combine into the GMB union to force the company to recognise these rights and to negotiate fair terms and conditions for the drivers."
Jo Bertram, the company's regional general manager, said: "Tens of thousands of people in London drive with Uber precisely because they want to be self-employed and their own boss.
"The overwhelming majority of drivers who use the Uber app want to keep the freedom and flexibility of being able to drive when and where they want. While the decision of this preliminary hearing only affects two people we will be appealing it."