- Uber currently classifies its drivers as contractors who use its app to find work.
- This means it doesn’t have to give them annual leave, minimum wage, or sick pay.
- Two former Uber drivers argued in court that Uber should classify its drivers as “workers” and won.
- Uber appealed the decision at an employment tribunal in September and lost. Now it wants to appeal the decision at the UK’s top court.
Uber wants to appeal a court ruling that would force it to class its drivers as workers and give them more rights in the Supreme Court – the highest court in the UK.
The legal case against Uber was brought last October by ex-Uber drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam. They claimed Uber was acting illegally by not giving drivers basic worker rights (such as holiday pay and the minimum wage) and won.
Uber appealed the decision at a two-day employment tribunal in September, saying that Uber acted just like traditional minicab firms. The company has always maintained that drivers who use its platform are independent contractors. It frames itself as a technology platform, connecting riders and drivers and taking a fee in the process.
It was thought that Uber would initially appeal through the Court of Appeal before escalating the matter to the Supreme Court.
But an Uber spokesperson said on Friday: “We have this afternoon requested permission to appeal directly to the Supreme Court in order that this case can be resolved sooner rather than later.”
Business Insider understands that Uber hopes the Supreme Court will consider its case around February 2018.
Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary of IWGB (Independent Workers Union of Great Britain) and a supporter of Farrar and Aslam, said: “It is unfortunate that rather than focussing on how to give its drivers a guaranteed minimum wage and paid holidays, Uber is instead choosing to waste everyone’s time by appealing once more.
“The IWGB has already beaten Uber at the Employment Appeal Tribunal and we are more than ready to beat them again.”
Farrar said in a statement: “As Uber continues to battle us to avoid its responsibilities, despite corporate PR to the contrary, working conditions for drivers have never been worse than they are today. Many now have little choice but to work as much as 90 hours a week for lower pay and to live in constant fear of instant deactivation on a whim.”