Taxi firm Uber has today lost its appeal against a ruling that its drivers should be classed as workers rather than self-employed.
In October 2016, the Central London Employment Tribunal ruled that two Uber drivers, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, were Uber staff and entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the minimum wage. The case was brought by the GMB, the union for professional drivers.
Uber fought the ruling, but today, the employment appeal tribunal upheld the original decision. The firm has said it will appeal the latest ruling again.
Maria Ludkin, GMB legal director, said: "This landmark decision is a yet more vindication of GMB’s campaign to ensure drivers are given the rights they are entitled to - and that the public, drivers and passengers are kept safe."
She added: “Uber must now face up to its responsibilities and give its workers the rights to which they are entitled.
However, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) expressed surprise at the ruling.
Chris Bryce, IPSE chief exec, said: "It is astonishing that the employment tribunal granted the two drivers worker status. A key element of being a worker is having to turn up for work even if you don’t want to.
"This is clearly not the case with people who drive through Uber – they choose when and how long they work for by logging on or off the app."
He added: "People driving through the Uber app really value the flexibility they have using platform based working. IPSE is concerned that ruling drivers as workers would hit the flexibility they seek out." ®