Uber loses major employment rights case in London

Conor Coyle WebFG News | 10 Nov, 2017 12:13 - Updated: 12:13 | | |


Ride-hailing app Uber will be forced to treat its UK drivers as employees after it failed to win its appeal to a London court on Friday.

Uber challenged a ruling last year which upheld drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam’s claims that they were entitled to benefits such as sick pay and paid holidays.

Workers union GMB took the case on behalf of the two drivers, which was heard in front of the Employment Appeal Tribunal, while Uber said drivers would not be able to avail of the “personal flexibility” if they were treated as employees.

GMB said the tribunal's decision was a “landmark” one for the industry, and called on Uber to evaluate their employment practices.

"GMB is delighted the EAT made the correct decision to uphold the original employment tribunal ruling,” the union’s legal director Maria Ludkin said.

"Uber must now face up to its responsibilities and give its workers the rights to which they are entitled.”


The US firm still has the option of taking its case to the Supreme Court in a last-ditch attempt to block the ruling.

Its acting UK general manager Tom Elvidge defended the company's actions, and confirmed that it would follow the appeals process further.

"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."

Uber is currently reeling from another legal issue, in which Transport for London revoked the company’s licence after it said it was “not fit and proper” to operate in the city.

In September TfL also said there would be major changes to the way it charges licensing fees for private hire operators, wit fees more accurately reflecting the resources required to regulate firms, based on the size of their operations.

It said London’s private hire industry had grown dramatically, from 65,000 licensed drivers in the 2013-2014 year, to more than 116,000 today, with a substantial increase in the cost of ensuring private hire operators fulfilled their licensing obligations and in tackling illegal activity to keep passengers safe to £30m over the next five years, up from a previous estimate of £4m.

More news

18:14 Commodities: weaker dollar helps gold stay put

The greenback weakened against a basket of currencies on Thursday with the dollar index dropping 0.11% to 93.117 by 1715 GMT, it's lowest level in more than a month.

18:11 Bonds: Gilts underperform amid Brexit talks optimism, Budget

These were the yields on some of the most widely-followed 10-year sovereign bond yields: US: 2.32% (-4bp)UK: 1.28% (+1bp)Germany: 0.35% (+0bp)France: 0.67% (-1bp)Spain: 1.45% (-3bp) Italy: 1.77% (-1bp)Portugal: 1.91% (-1bp)Greece: 5.37% (+3bp)Japan: 0.03% (-0bp)

17:37 Bank of England admits to paying female staff less than men

The Bank of England has admitted paying its female staff 24% less than their male counterparts, primarily due to a lack of women in senior positions .

17:24 FX round-up: Sterling steady while euro moves up for third day

News out for the UK on Thursday showed second estimate GDP quarter/quarter came in as expected, 0.4%, while the latest minutes from the European Central Bank (ECB) eluded to a discussion about cutting the current bong buying programme.

17:35 Friday preview: UK lending, German Ifo, Fuller's results, Next enters Black Friday

Friday offers a relatively peaceful end to the week in the financial calendar, with UK mortgage numbers, Germany's Ifo business climate survey and US PMI surveys to sate macro fans, results from Fuller Smith & Turner and Future, while those with some early Christmas shopping may be more focused on Black Friday.

17:28 London close: Shares dip even as pound slips, UK data in focus

The top flight index closed marginally lower on Thursday even as the pound slipped, with the latest readings on retail sales and UK GDP in focus.

16:56 Premaitha Health reaches agreement with new East Asian lab partner

Molecular diagnostics group Premaitha Health has signed an agreement with a new laboratory partner, it announced on Thursday, to offer a non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) screening solution in a new East Asian territory.

16:31 Facebook to inform users that interacted with Russian bots

US tech giant Facebook has announced it will show users of the social network whether it interacted with pages set up by Russian bots during the presidential election last year.

16:28 Mountfield Group flags higher net profits for 2017 year

Commercial flooring and specialist construction services company Mountfield Group updated the market on its trading in the year-to-date on Thursday, reporting that net profit for the year was likely to exceed that achieved in both the first half of the current year, and the second half of the 2016 year.

16:25 ZPG abandons the chase for GoCompare

Zoopla and uSwitch owner ZPG confirmed on Thursday that it does not plan to make another offer for GoCompare.