Uber crisis: UK Supreme Court rules against app as drivers now set to receive benefits

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Uber crisis: UK Supreme Court rules against app as drivers now set to receive benefits

The Supreme Court found against Uber operating companies and said drivers should be classed as workers, not independent third-party contractors. Se

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The Supreme Court found against Uber operating companies and said drivers should be classed as workers, not independent third-party contractors. Seven justices delivered the ruling on the latest round of a long-running fight between Uber operating companies and drivers. Lawyers said the ruling means drivers will be entitled to basic rights, such as paid holidays, and will have implications for others working in the gig economy.

Uber operating companies had appealed to the Supreme Court after losing three earlier rounds of the fight.

An employment tribunal ruled in 2016 that Uber drivers were workers and entitled to workers’ rights.

That ruling was upheld by an employment appeal tribunal, and by Court of Appeal judges.

Lawyers representing Uber operating companies told Supreme Court justices that the employment tribunal ruling was wrong.

They said drivers did not “undertake to work” for Uber but were “independent, third party contractors”.

But lawyers representing drivers said the tribunal was entitled to conclude that drivers were working.

A law firm enlisted by the GMB union to represent Uber drivers says they will now be entitled to compensation for lost pay.

Leigh Day lawyers think tens of thousands of Uber drivers could be entitled to an average of £12,000 each.

A Leigh Day spokeswoman said the case would return to an employment tribunal, for decisions to be made on how much compensation drivers should get.

GMB national officer Mick Rix hailed the Supreme Court victory as “historic”.

He said: “This has been a gruelling four-year legal battle for our members – but it’s ended in a historic win.

“The Supreme Court has upheld the decision of three previous courts, backing up what GMB has said all along; Uber drivers are workers and entitled to breaks, holiday pay and minimum wage.

“Uber must now stop wasting time and money pursuing lost legal causes and do what’s right by the drivers who prop up its empire.

“GMB will now consult with our Uber driver members over their forthcoming compensation claim.”

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