Uber loses tribunal case

Written By: James Douglas
Published: November 30, 2017 Last modified: December 4, 2017

Taxi-hailing app firm Uber has lost an appeal against a ruling that its drivers should be treated as workers rather than self-employed.

Last year, a tribunal ruled that drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam were Uber staff and therefore entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the statutory minimum wage.

Uber appealed, arguing its drivers were self-employed and were under no obligation to use its booking app. Uber has up to 50,000 drivers using its app in the UK.

The employment appeal tribunal upheld the tribunal’s original decision that any Uber driver who had the Uber app switched on was working for the company under a “worker” contract.

The firm said it would appeal against this latest ruling, too. There are two further possible stages in the appeal process – the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

On the downside, Deliveroo riders have been ruled self-employed by labour law body the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC).

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) brought a test case after Deliveroo had refused to recognise it as a union representing drivers/riders in Camden and Kentish Town, London and refused to start collective bargaining over workers’ rights.

The IWGB took the case to the CAC. However, the CAC found they were self-employed because of their freedom to “substitute” – allowing other drivers/riders to take their place on
a job.