Uber is granted right to appeal in UK worker-status case

Uber has been granted the right to appeal against an Employment Tribunal ruling that found that the organisation’s drivers are employed as workers and are entitled to the national minimum wage and holiday pay.

The appeal will be heard at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in London on 27 and 28 September 2017.

The appeal relates to the ruling released by the London Central Employment Tribunal on 28 October 2016 following the preliminary hearing of the Aslam and Farra v Uber case. In this case, the drivers contended that they were workers rather than self-employed contractors, and that they were therefore  entitled to workers’ rights such as the national minimum wage and holiday pay.

The Employment Tribunal found that the drivers were employed as workers within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act, National Minimum Wage Act, and the working time regulations. The tribunal also found that the claimants were engaged in unmeasured work for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage Regulations, and that their working time should be calculated in accordance with the working time regulations.

The Aslam and Farra v Uber case was originally heard at the London Central Employment Tribunal in July 2016. The drivers’ claims were supported by the GMB trade union.

Uber has approximately 40,000 drivers in the UK.

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A spokesperson at Uber said: “Almost all taxi and private hire drivers in the UK have been self-employed for decades and with Uber they have more control over what they do. Licensed drivers who use our app are totally free to choose if, when and where they drive with no shifts, minimum hours or uniforms. The vast majority of drivers who use Uber tell us they want to remain their own boss as that’s the main reason why they’ve signed up to us in the first place.”

Maria Ludkin, legal director at GMB, said: “While we fully respect the higher court’s interest in this extraordinarily important case about bogus self-employment, we remain 100% confident that the courts will uphold the original judgment that these drivers have employed worker status.”