Uber intends to fight on following latest ruling

Tech giant  last week lost the latest stage of a landmark legal battle

Tech giant Uber last week lost the latest stage of a landmark legal battle relating to the employment status of its drivers, but the firm has already confirmed it will appeal.

The company behind the world-famous taxi-hailing app had sought to overturn the previous ruling by an Employment Tribunal, which had found in favour of two drivers who argued they should be categorised as workers rather than self-employed.

On Friday, Judges upheld the decision from last year, much to the delight of James Farrar and Yaseen Alam, the pair who had brought the original claim.

Mr Farrar told the BBC that the ruling was a “huge relief”.

“I really hope it will stick this time and that Uber will obey the ruling of the court,” he said.

“I’d like Uber to sit down and work out how as quickly as possible that every driver who is working for Uber get the rights they are entitled to.”

Trade unions had hailed the decision as a major victory and urged Uber – one of the driving forces in the gig economy – not to lodge a further appeal.

Despite the plea, the business was quick to confirm that it would indeed fight on, with the possibility that one of the most important employment battles of recent times may yet reach the Supreme Court.

Tom Elvidge, Uber UK’s acting general manager, 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.”