Uber Technologies hit as UK says drivers are workers

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Uber Technologies Inc‘s (NYSE:UBER) business model has been dealt a blow as the UK Supreme Court on Friday ruled that drivers are workers and are therefore entitled to employment rights including minimum wage, rest breaks and holiday pay.

Moreover, it judged that driver’s working time is not limited only to the periods in which they’re driving passengers and that they are working for any period when the driver is logged into the app and are available to accept customer trips.

Underlying employment disputes can now move to tribunal as they had previously been stayed until the Supreme Court process concluded.

The legal ruling follows a protracted battle in the UK, Uber’s largest European market, where it has had multiple issues around employment issues and its licences to operate.

Uber has similarly faced pushback over driver’s rights in a number of other territories, including California and the European Union.

In a statement, the Silicon Valley company said: “We’ve made a lot of progress in recent years, but we know there is more to do. We will now launch a nationwide consultation to seek the views of all active drivers who use our app in the UK. We want to understand what drivers value about Uber and – crucially – where things could improve.”

It said it has made changes to its business in the last couple of year and argued that “many of the examples called out in the judgement are no longer relevant”.

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