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Uber Loses Appeal Over Ruling Classifying UK Drivers As Workers

UberThe legal woes of Uber have piled up.

After fighting the U.K. government over a London-wide ban, the company lost an appeal over a ruling categorizing the ride-hailing giant’s drivers as workers and not independent, self-employed contractors as Uber claims.

Thus, Uber drivers in the U.K. are entitled to get minimum wage and employee benefits like overtime and vacation pay.

James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, who are Uber drivers in the U.K., contested the company’s policy and filed a case before the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)

(Read: Uber Loses Appeal in UK Employment Rights Case)

According to a Guardian report, the US company said it would file an appeal of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision, meaning the case could end up in the Court of Appeals or in the Supreme Court next year.

Drivers Value The Freedom

Tom Elvidge, Uber U.K. acting general manager, said in a statement: “Almost all taxi and private hire drivers have been self-employed for decades, long before our app existed.”

The main reason why drivers use Uber is because they value the freedom to choose if, when and where they drive and so we intend to appeal.”

Turnover Business Model

Mashable reported that Uber’s legal problem in the U.K. is also being fought by the company across the world, including a major lawsuit in California.

Mashable said classifying its drivers as workers “would upend Uber’s business model, which depends on the kind of obligation-free labor independent contractors provide.”

This is the same problem that faces other fast-growing gig economy companies that rely on independent workers, like Postmates and Instacart.”

Meanwhile, the Guardian said the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), which backed Uber’s appeal, has stated that Uber drivers “will still be able to enjoy the freedoms of self-employment – such as flexibility in choosing shifts – even if they have worker status.”

What’s Next?

What are your thoughts on the EAT’s ruling with regard the status of Uber drivers in the U.K. and of the move of the ride-hailing company to file an appeal?

Share them by commenting below.

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