Popular ride-sharing app Uber has lost an appeal against a ruling of employment rights requested by drivers.
The GMB union described the ruling by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) as a “landmark victory” for workers’ rights, particularly those operating in the gig economy.
It comes after two Uber drivers, James Farrar and Yassem Aslam, won an employment tribunal case last October, after arguing that they should be classified as “workers” and as such should receive associated benefits such as minimum wage, sick and holiday pay.
Uber challenged the ruling at EAT in London, arguing that the classification of drivers as “workers”, would result in the loss of flexibility.
Maria Ludkin, the GMB’s legal director, said: “This landmark decision is a yet more vindication of 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’s colossal hack, Seedcamp’s £41m raise, the Budget and more in the Week in Tech
“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 has said it will appeal the ruling, which could mean it takes years for the process to be exhausted.
The US giant could face a significantly higher tax bill, if it has to pay employers’ national insurance contributions and VAT.