Cab app Uber has lost its Employment Appeal Tribunal case, which means that it will be obliged to treat its drivers as employed workers rather than self-employed contractors.
Although Uber claims that 80 per cent of its workforce would rather be self-employed, clocking on and off as they see fit, a tribunal ruled last year that two drivers - James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam - should be considered staff.
That means that they are entitled to the same rights as employed staff, such as holiday pay, rest breaks and the hourly minimum wage - and, presumably, to sue the company accordingly.
The company, which is already fighting for the right to operate in London after its licence was revoked by Transport for London (TfL), has 50,000 drivers across the country, most of whom are self-employed, but work exclusively for Uber.
In the US, for example, many Uber drivers also work for its main rival Lyft concurrently. However, Lyft doesn't operate in the UK.
Uber has said that, if necessary, it will carry on to the the Court of Appeal and even the Supreme Court. However, the GMB union suggested that the company should just give in.
"Uber must now face up to its responsibilities and give its workers the rights to which they are entitled. GMB urges the company not to waste everyone's time and money dragging their lost cause to the Supreme Court."
Uber will argue that it will have to pass these costs on in the form of fare increases. It has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds in court costs to fight the issue, which has already dragged on for more than a year.
According to Citizens' Advice, on average, wrongly-classified self-employed workers make up nearly ten per cent of the workforce. They miss out on £1,288 a year in holiday payments and are liable for an additional £61 in National Insurance contributions.
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