UK panel rules Uber drivers have rights on wages

LONDON:

Uber lost the latest round in the battle over its operating model on Friday, when a British panel ruled that the company’s drivers are workers, not independent contractors, in a decision with broad implications for the so-called gig economy.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld a lower panel’s decision, agreeing that the two drivers in this case were “workers” under British law and therefore should receive the minimum wage and paid holidays. Uber said it would appeal.

Judge Jennifer Eady rejected Uber’s argument that the men were independent contractors, because the drivers had no opportunity to make their own agreements with passengers and the company required them to accept 80 per cent of trip requests when they were on duty.

The tribunal, Eady wrote in her decision, found “the drivers were integrated into the Uber business of providing transportation services.”

The ride-hailing service said it has never required drivers in the UK to accept 80pc of the trips offered to them and that drivers make well above the minimum wage. Employment lawyers expect the case to be heard by the Supreme Court next year.

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

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COURTESY BY: https://dawn.com

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