Uber has taken the fight against a tribunal ruling to the Court of Appeal. The ruling judged that the drivers are employed by the ride-hailing app.
This morning, a court heard that a business relationship between Uber and its drivers is “typical of the private hire industry.” It was released as the firm tries to overturn the 2016 finding of the employment tribunal.
Uber claims that its drivers are self-employed. It is appealing the decision of the tribunal that declared that workers are employed by the firm and are therefore entitled to the minimum wage rate and holiday pay.
The company in the United States of America claims that it acts as an agent that aims to connect drivers to customers. It describes the drivers as “independent contractors.”
Dinah Rose QC stated: “Many mini-cab companies operate a business model under which drivers are self-employed, own their own cars, and bear the risk of their own expenses.”
She added: “The drivers use the minicab firm as their agent to book their trips with passengers and pay commission to the minicab firm for that services.”
She continued: “Uber is unusual not because of the nature of these relationships, but because the Uber App enables it to operate on a much larger scale than traditional mini-cab companies.”
Talking ahead of today’s hearing a partner at Leigh Day which serves as the representative of 82 Uber drivers, Nigel Mackay, stated: “The employment tribunal made clear and well-reasoned findings, backed-up by the evidence produced at the tribunal, including Uber’s own description of itself in publicity material as ‘a transportation network’ and ‘Everyone’s Private Driver’.”
He added: “It is very disappointing that Uber refuses to accept the employment tribunal’s judgment and instead continues to deny the GMB members that we represent their fundamental workers’ rights, including to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage and to receive paid time off. These are not unreasonable demands.
Mackay continued: “This appeal is of great significance not only to Uber drivers but also to millions of other workers in the gig economy and we hope that this can now bring this matter to a conclusion for the benefit of all workers.”