The number of Uber drivers fighting for workers rights has doubled

Lynsey Barber
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Uber drivers won an employment tribunal but Uber has appealed the decision (Source: Getty)

The number of Uber drivers claiming they are workers rather than self-employed has now doubled as a further 25 drivers joined as claimants in a legal case which ruled in favour of them in October.

It brings the total number of drivers in the case seeking rights to holiday and sick pay along with other benefits to 50, with that number set to grow in the coming weeks.

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Law firm Leigh Day which represented an initial group of 25 drivers on behalf of GMB union at the landmark employment tribunal said the additional drivers have joined the claim after hundreds of enquiries.

“Since the judgement was issued, we and GMB have spoken to hundreds of Uber drivers who wish to claim compensation for Uber’s failure to provide these entitlements in the past, as well as to ensure that they are paid at least the national minimum wage and holiday pay in future," said the lawyer representing the drivers, Nigel MacKay.

“We are issuing claims on behalf of those drivers and the latest 25 claimants who have joined the legal action will be included in claims for compensation. We anticipate issuing further claims on behalf of drivers in the coming weeks.”

He told City A.M. the majority of the 50 claimants were those who have worked with Uber for more than a year, with some having been on the platform since it first launched in the UK in 2012.

Uber has filed its appeal against the decision, which ruled that drivers are in fact workers and entitled to the same benefits as those in traditional employment.

Read more: The government wants "flexibility but fairness" for Uber workers

The startup argues that drivers are free to use the app as and when they wish and enjoy the flexibility. A survey commissioned by the company found around 90 per cent of drivers were happy and found Uber a good company top work for.

The company faces having to fork out back pay to the drivers if it loses the appeal and could open the floodgate to more claims from Uber drivers, which number 30,000 in the UK.

A decision on the appeal will not be made until next year.

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