Denied: Uber's request to skip to UK Supreme Court to appeal workers' rights

Claimant: We've beaten Uber twice, prepared to do it again

Uber’s request to leapfrog the Court of Appeals and go straight to the UK Supreme Court in its bid to appeal a decision on workers’ rights, has been knocked back.

The private taxi app biz had wanted to skip the Court of Appeals and have its case heard in front of the higher court, but its application has been denied.

It’s the latest set-back in the taxi hailing biz’s attempts to appeal a 2016 decision in which the Central London Employment Tribunal ruled that two drivers – James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam – were Uber staff and so entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the minimum wage.

The firm appealed the decision, but lost that case last month at the Employment Appeal Tribunal, after which it applied to have its appeal heard at the Supreme Court.

"Now that Uber has been denied permission to go straight to the Supreme Court, they should take this opportunity to work with their drivers instead of fighting them at every stage," Aslam said of the decisions.

"We've already beaten Uber twice and are prepared to do so again in the Court of Appeal."

Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, which is backing Farrar and Aslam's case, said the latest decision was "another blow to Uber's legal strategy behind denying workers their rights".

He added: "The IWGB would encourage Uber yet again to stop wasting everyone's time and simply focus on providing minimum wage and holiday pay to the thousands of drivers who have been deprived of their rights for years."

Uber’s employment practices have also come under scrutiny from MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, which wrote to the firm (PDF) at the end of last month asking for more information on driver and passenger safety.

Chair Rachel Reeves said that Uber had failed to give specifics on how many drivers were working more than 70 and 80 hours a week - the biz had said just that less than 6 per cent of drivers spend more than 60 hours logged into the app per week.

“It is strange that a data-driven business like Uber appears unable to answer our question on how many of its drivers are working more than 70 and 80 hours a week. We expect them to now respond with the missing figures,” Reeves said.

She also asked for information on when driver hour limits would be introduced in the UK, and what those limits would be, per day and per week, per driver. ®

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