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Uber drivers are workers, says Court of Appeal

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Next stop, the Supreme Court?

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Taxi-hailing giant Uber has lost an appeal against a ruling that its drivers are workers, entitled to employment protections including holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the minimum wage.

The Court of Appeal upheld a decision by The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), which last year sided with drivers Yaseen Aslam and James Farrar, backed by trade union GMB, in their claim for worker status. Uber said it intends to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Noting today’s decision was not unanimous, a spokesperson for Uber said:

“Almost all taxi and private hire drivers have been self-employed for decades, long before our app existed. Drivers who use the Uber app make more than the London Living Wage and want to keep the freedom to choose if, when and where they drive. If drivers were classified as workers they would inevitably lose some of the freedom and flexibility that comes with being their own boss.”

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This is now the third defeat for Uber in this case. As reported by Legal Cheek, the judges who heard the case at first instance (later upheld by the EAT) pointed to the fact that drivers are unable to negotiate with passengers, and are offered and accept trips strictly on Uber’s terms.

Tim Roache, GMB general secretary, said: “Uber keep appealing and keep losing. Uber should just accept the verdict and stop trying to find loopholes that deprive people of their hard won rights and hard earned pay. This is the perfect early Christmas present for GMB’s Uber members, but this case is about the wider ‘gig economy’ too.”

Commenting on the case, Polly Jeanneret, an employment law specialist, tells Legal Cheek:

“The status of individuals, whether they are genuinely self-employed, workers or employees is one of the most vexing legal conundrums of our times. As individuals and businesses alike strive for alternative working arrangements and the structure of the modern workplace becomes increasingly imaginative, the law is struggling to keep up.”

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11 Comments

Anonymous

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Anonymous

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Anonymous

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Anonymous

F*ck the police

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Anonymous

Fourth

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Anonymous

I took my first ride with them on Friday. Home to a Hilton Hotel 53 miles from home for the office party. The quote I accepted was £82. I gave him the money to go on the M6 toll road and used Wayz App to negotiate him around the heavy traffic on the M42. Also gave him a big tip. Then in came the charge to my credit card of pennies shy of £100. Including a charge for the M6 toll I’d paid. He’d had another fare on the way to me. He told me Uber take 25% from the drivers. Self employed or not both Uber and the drivers are making very good money. I can’t say given my experience that I’d use them again

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Anonymous

You didn’t accept a quote, you agreed an estimate. Hope you don’t work in contract law.

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Anonymous

Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn will change the law to end zero hour contracts, fake employment and exploitative working hours!

A supertax on moneylaw greed to release student debts and raise teacher salaries!

FOR THE MANY, NOT THE FEW!!!!!

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Anonymous

Uber is really being let down by Hogan Lovells – should fire and replace them with a real litigation heavyweight like Freshfields or HSF!

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Anonymous

Hog Love are top drawer, but even they can’t polish a turd; all they can do is roll it in glitter. Courts of increasingly seniority then spend time looking in detail at the glittering turd, before concluding ‘This is a turd’.

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Anonymous

Uber are going to float soon. Have you seen the article about Lance Armstrong ‘s investment of 37000 being expected to be worth 20 million, and so saving his family post drug cheat settlements ?

If uber lose, the valuation will be hammered.

My bet is that Underhill’s reasoning will be adopted by the supreme court and uber will win.

There will be many pension funds and private equity funds who came later into the investment later in the day the day than lance Armstrong, and these will not meet their targets otherwise.

Underhill has been more thorough than any of the retained counsel or the two asserting judges. He used to be president of the Eat, and he has shown uber’s team what points to argue next time, which they seem to have missed.

Incidentally, Hogan are not mentioned as the solicitors for uber, piper are.

I wonder if the union have costs insurance ? They are wasting hard earned money, if not. And if the 30000 uber drivers do not vote in a block, Labour may not wish to jeopardise pension fund targets with a parliamentary correction, but we shall see.

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