Uber loses appeal against landmark UK workers' rights ruling

Uber lost an appeal against a landmark ruling that the ride-hailing firm should treat its U.K. drivers as workers entitled to benefits like a minimum wage and holiday pay. Majority of the judges had ruled in favor of Uber drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, who in the year 2016, argued that they were employees working for the company, rather than self-employed.

The company, Uber argues that its drivers should be treated as self-employed — much in the same way that most traditional taxi drivers are. It says it should be treated more like an agency that connects drivers with passengers. According to them, this arrangement would allows workers to be more flexible.

Ryan Browne a News Assistant at CNBC.com reported that Uber had managed to face off in court with the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), representing drivers Farrar and Aslam. The firm said it had been granted permission to lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court, and planned on doing so.

A spokesperson for the company came forward to declare that the decision was not unanimous and that it did not reflect the reasons why the vast majority of drivers choose to use the Uber app. He insisted that almost all taxi and private hire drivers have been self-employed for decades, long before the app ever existed.

The recent ruling would most likely become an important challenge for the gig economy, where people work for companies on a freelance basis and don't receive fixed contracts.

Reports state that Farrar told CNBC that Uber would need to carefully think about how it would affect and what the ruling meant for its business model as it gears up for its IPO in 2019.

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