Uber has lost its latest court bid to stop its British drivers being classified as workers, entitling them to rights such as the minimum wage, in a decision which jeopardizes the taxi app’s business model.
Two drivers successfully argued at a tribunal in 2016 that the Silicon Valley firm exerted significant control over them to provide an on-demand service, and that they should cease to be considered as self-employed, which gives few protections in law.
An employment appeal tribunal upheld that decision last year, prompting Uber to go to the Court of Appeal. On Wednesday, a majority of judges there said they agreed with the previous verdicts and rejected Uber’s arguments.
“They approve the reasoning of the Employment Tribunal, which relied on a number of features of Uber’s working arrangements as being inconsistent with the driver having a direct contractual relationship with the passenger,” the Court of Appeal said in a summary.
Uber said it would appeal the verdict, meaning the legal process will continue.
“This decision was not unanimous and does not reflect the reasons why the vast majority of drivers choose to use the Uber app,” said a spokeswoman.
“We have been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court and will do so.”