CRAPSI-CAB company Uber has lost its Employment Appeal Tribunal case meaning that it must now treat its drivers as workers, rather than as self-employed contractors.
Although Uber claims that 80 percent of the workforce would rather be self-employed, a tribunal ruled last year that two drivers - James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam were Uber staff.
This means they are entitled to the same rights as employed staff, holiday pay, rest breaks and being paid minimum wage.
The company which is already fighting for the right to operate in London after its licence was revoked, has 50,000 drivers across the country, most of whom work exclusively for Uber.
In the US, for example, many Uber drivers also work for its main rival Lyft concurrently which would completely confuse the issue if the same were true here.
Uber has said that if necessary it will carry on to the the Court of Appeal and even the Supreme Court. However, the GMB's Legal Direct warned
"Uber must now face up to its responsibilities and give its workers the rights to which they are entitled. GMB urges the company not to waste everyone's time and money dragging their lost cause to the Supreme Court."
Uber will argue that it will have to pass these costs on in the form of fare increases, but it has also spent hundreds of thousands in court costs to fight the issue which has already dragged on for more than a year.
According to Citizens' Advice, on average, wrongly-classified self-employed workers make up nearly ten percent of the workforce. They miss out on £1,288 a year in holiday payments and are liable for an additional £61 in National Insurance contributions.
In the era of the gig economy, it's possible to argue for both positions here but all over the world, Uber drivers have vented frustration at the higher standards and lower fares that competition brings. One even took out his frustration on former CEO Travis Kalanick. µ
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