The row about the employment status of Uber drivers has flared up again, as a trade union alleges that each UK driver is owed approximately £18,000.
This follows a refusal from the company to accept a two-year old court ruling, says the GMB, the union which looks after the interests of professional drivers.
The Central London Employment Tribunal ruled in 2016 that Uber drivers are entitled to holiday pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and rest breaks.
The company disputes some of this but is well aware of the debate over employment status – a comment in Uber London’s latest accounts warns shareholders: “The Uber group [is exposed] to numerous legal and regulatory risks, including, among others, the application, interpretation and enforcement of existing regulations related to Uber group’s business model.”
A Court of Appeal hearing is scheduled for this week. But Sue Harris, GMB legal director, says: “The company needs to stop wasting money dragging its lost cause through the courts. Instead, Uber should do the decent thing and give drivers the rights to which those courts have already said they are legally entitled.”