Uber seeks permission to appeal directly to Supreme Court over drivers' rights row

 
Rebecca Smith
The firm said it wanted to resolve the matter sooner rather than later
The firm said it wanted to resolve the matter sooner rather than later (Source: Getty)

Uber said today it has requested permission to appeal directly to the Supreme Court in its workers' rights row, after losing an appeal earlier this month against a tribunal ruling that it must give its drivers rights such as holiday pay and paid rest breaks.

The ride-hailing app had gone to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) to challenge an earlier ruling by the Employment Tribunal which said Uber drivers are entitled to basic workers' rights.

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The EAT rejected Uber’s argument that it is merely an agent that connects drivers and passengers, and confirmed the Employment Tribunal’s decision.

Today, a spokesperson for Uber said: "We have this afternoon requested permission to appeal directly to the Supreme Court in order that this case can be resolved sooner rather than later."

When the ruling earlier this month reaffirmed that made by the tribunal , Uber UK's acting general manager Tom Elvidge said: "Almost all taxi and private hire drivers have been self-employed for decades, long before our app existed. The main reason why drivers use Uber is because they value the freedom to choose if, when and where they drive and so we intend to appeal."

The GMB union however, described the ruling as a "landmark victory" for workers' rights.

The ride-hailing app, which has up to 50,000 drivers using its app in the UK, is also entangled in a row over Transport for London's (TfL) decision not to renew its London licence, after TfL declared Uber was "not fit and proper" to hold one.

TfL commissioner Mike Brown said earlier this month that he was planning fresh talks with Uber's chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi over the matter, though Uber has lodged an appeal over the matter. London mayor Sadiq Khan said should that proceed, the process "could go on for a number of years".

Uber's service will remain available throughout the entire legal process.

Read more: Uber loses workers' rights appeal: Here's how employment experts reacted

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