Uber loses bid to leapfrog appeal court in employment case

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Dec 06, 2017
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Uber is appealing a tribunal ruling that its drivers are entitled to holiday pay and minimum wage

Jeff Chiu/AP

Uber has failed in its attempt to bypass the Court of Appeal and have Britain’s highest court determine the long-running battle over employment rights in the gig economy.

The taxi-hailing company lost a hearing at the employment appeal tribunal last month and applied to have its appeal of the case, Aslam, Farrar & others, heard before the Supreme Court. The application was rejected and the case will now be heard at the Court of Appeal.

Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, which is representing the lead claimants in the case, described the decision as “another blow to Uber's legal strategy behind denying workers their rights”.

The union called on the company “to stop wasting everyone's time and simply focus on providing minimum wage and holiday pay to the thousands of drivers who have been deprived of their rights for years”.

In the ruling last month, the appeal tribunal found that Uber drivers were entitled to employment rights such as holiday pay, breaks and a minimum wage.

Trade unions hailed the decision, brought by two drivers who argued that they were workers rather than self-employed, as a landmark ruling that would have an impact on many more gig economy businesses.

When it launched its appeal, Uber said that the finding could cost it millions of pounds for its 50,000 UK drivers.

No listing date has been given for the Court of Appeal hearing, but it is not expected to take place before next summer. 

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