View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Leadership
  2. Workforce
December 5, 2017

UK Supreme Court rejects Uber’s employee rights appeal request

The UK Supreme Court rejects Uber's request appeal as the company gets yet another setback.

By April Slattery

Despite Uber’s efforts to put its troubles to one side, yet another setback has hit the ride-hailing firm as the UK Supreme Court has rejected its appeal concerning workers’ rights.

Two weeks ago the ride-hailing firm applied to the UK’s highest court to overturn the decision made by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), which ruled that Uber drivers should be classed as workers and not self-employed.

According to the drivers’ union, Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, this application has now been rejected by the UK’s highest court.

Losing its application to the Supreme Court means the case will now have to be heard by the Court of Appeal, which the company was trying to avoid by going directly to the highest court in a bid to quicken the appeal process.

The Court of Appeal will now hear the case after Supreme Court rejects appeal bid.

Uber argued against the initial ruling that its drivers should not be classed as self-employed because they are not obliged to any conditions that would give them this status and the perks that come with it, such as minimum wage.

However, Uber does require drivers to take on at least 80% of the jobs they get offered in order to keep their driver status, which in itself is an indirect condition tying drivers to the company.

The Court of Appeal will be the third court to hear the case after it was brought to the EAT by two former drivers last year.

Content from our partners
Scan and deliver
GenAI cybersecurity: "A super-human analyst, with a brain the size of a planet."
Cloud, AI, and cyber security – highlights from DTX Manchester

The two drivers successfully brought the case to court after arguing they were working for Uber under ‘contract’ conditions, because as soon as they logged onto the app they were unable to take jobs from any other operators, leaving them under the control of Uber to pick up hailers on request.

Could there be light at the end of the road for Uber?
More bad news for Uber
Could Uber rivals take over?

Uber denied this was the case and that drivers were not obliged to adhere to any conditions that would allow drivers workers’ rights, such as holiday pay and minimum wage. Additionally the company claims by classing them as self-employed would lead to loss of flexibility, which drivers like.

The application rejection takes away the shine from the progress Uber seemingly made yesterday as they joined the UITP, in a bid to boost mobility across the cities they operate in as well as rebuild relationships with local authorities. However, it seems somewhat unlikely to do the latter following the latest rejection.

Now Uber must wait for the Court of Appeal to hear the case and until then the company is again left wondering its future on the roads.

Topics in this article : , ,
Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.