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Uber to make Supreme Court appeal after losing driver employment rights case

Unions argue staff should be classified as “workers” rather than being self-employed.

Taxi firm Uber is to appeal to the Supreme Court after losing a case over the employment rights of drivers.

Earlier this month the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) rejected Uber’s argument over the status of employees.

Unions argue staff should be classified as “workers” rather than being self-employed, which would entitle them to rights such as holiday pay.

An Uber spokesman said: “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.”

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Yaseen Aslam was one of the drivers who took action (Steve Parsons/PA)

Drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam took a case to an employment tribunal last year, arguing they were Uber staff and entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the minimum wage.

After the EAT upheld the original tribunal ruling Tom Elvidge, Uber UK’s Acting General Manager, said: “Almost all taxi and private hire drivers have been self-employed for decades, long before our app existed.

“The main reason why drivers use Uber is because they value the freedom to choose if, when and where they drive.”

Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, which represented the two drivers at the EAT, 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.”

Maria Ludkin, legal director of the GMB union, which took the original tribunal case, said: “We welcome the opportunity to justify our arguments in any court, whether the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court.

“GMB is confident that, no matter what the venue, the original judgment will be upheld.”

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