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Employment Appeal Tribunal rejects Uber’s appeal against ruling on workers’ rights

In a landmark ruling, which will affect tens of thousands of Uber drivers, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has rejected Uber’s appeal

10 November 2017

In a landmark ruling, which will affect tens of thousands of Uber drivers, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has rejected Uber’s argument that it is merely an agent that connects drivers and passengers.

Instead the EAT has confirmed the Employment Tribunal’s decision that the true nature of the relationship is that Uber drivers work for Uber.

In the judgment published today the EAT has upheld last October’s Employment Tribunal decision and confirmed that a group of Uber drivers are workers and are entitled to receive the National Minimum Wage and holiday pay.

The EAT has also confirmed the Employment Tribunal’s finding that the period from when drivers were logged on and ready and willing to accept rides counts as working time, meaning that drivers should be paid at least the minimum wage for that whole period.

The claims brought by the GMB trade union, who were represented by law firm Leigh Day, were heard in the London Central Employment Tribunal in July 2016.

Since then, the number of GMB member claimants in the group claim represented by Leigh Day has increased to 68.

Nigel Mackay, employment solicitor at law firm Leigh Day who represents the drivers said: “We are very pleased that the EAT has rejected Uber’s appeal. We have always believed that the Employment Tribunal’s decision from last year October was entirely correct in saying that our GMB member clients were entitled to workers’ right such as the minimum wage and holiday pay.

“We now hope that Uber will accept this decision, rather than pursuing further appeals, so that we can swiftly return to the Employment Tribunal on behalf of our GMB member clients, for the Tribunal to decide the compensation that they are entitled to.”

Maria Ludkin, GMB legal director, said: “This landmark decision is a yet more vindication for GMB’s campaign to ensure drivers are given the rights they are entitled to - and that the public, drivers and passengers are kept safe.

“GMB is delighted the EAT made the correct decision to uphold the original employment tribunal ruling.

“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.”

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