The Uber app on a smartphone

Uber has lost an appeal against the ruling that drivers should be classed as workers rather than self-employed. 

Uber has said it plans to appeal the latest decision made by the landmark Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruling. Uber has said that the decision doesn’t allow drivers the “personal flexibility they value”.

Backed by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), Uber drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam won the case to state that drivers should have rights such as minimum wage and holiday pay, rather than be classified as self-employed.

“I have been campaigning against Uber since 2014 and, although I always knew I was on the right side, it has always been a struggle that has brought enormous pressure on us,” said Yaseen Aslam.

“I am glad that the judge today confirmed what I and thousands of drivers have known all along: that Uber is not only exploiting drivers, but also acting unlawfully,” he added.

Farrar said: “Uber cannot go on flouting UK law with impunity and depriving people of their minimum-wage rights. We have done everything we can, now it is time for the mayor of London, Transport for London and the transport secretary to step up and use their leverage to defend worker rights rather than turn a blind eye to sweatshop conditions.”

Uber currently has 40,000 registered drivers in London. According to the car-hailing app, 80 percent of this number would prefer to be classed as self-employed.

“Today’s victory is further proof, as if any more was needed, that the law is clear and these companies are simply choosing to deprive workers of their rights. These companies are making a mockery of supposed employment rights,” said  IWGB general secretary, Jason Moyer-Lee.

“The government needs to properly enforce the law and they need to do it now.”