An employment tribunal in the UK has concluded that Uber drivers in the country are not independent contractors and instead, employees of the ride-hailing company.
At the heart of the case were James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, two men challenging Uber on behalf of a group of 19 drivers. They alleged that the company had denied them basic protections awarded to employees by suggesting that they were self-employed.
The ruling means that Uber must ensure its drivers in the UK receive a minimum wage and paid time off, points which will conflict with the firm’s current hiring model that involves workers without formal contracts.
In an interview with The New York Times after the tribunal ruling, Aslam said thousands of drivers will be affected by the decision.
“You can hide behind technology, but the laws are there, and they need to be obeyed and respected. The impact of this ruling could affect thousands of drivers, and not just drivers but millions of workers across the U.K. It just means we can’t be exploited,” he said.
This isn’t the first time Uber has caused headlines in the UK. In September, London’s regulator of public transportation, Transport for London, decided against renewing Uber’s license to operate in the capital city.