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Uber drivers entitled to minimum wage, holiday pay, rules UK tribunal

The lawyers representing the drivers said that further hearings will determine the pay they should receive and calculate the holiday. Photograph: (Getty)

London Oct 28, 2016, 06.53 PM (IST)

In a "monumental" verdict on Friday, a British tribunal ruled that taxi app Uber should treat its drivers as employees and pay them the minimum wage and holiday pay.

In July, two Taxi drivers brought their case to an employment tribunal, complaining that the online transportation company was acting unlawfully by treating them as self-employed and not providing certain rights.

Uber said it will appeal against the verdict. The app-based company that allows users to book and pay for a taxi by smartphone had argued that its employees were self-employed contractors.

"This is a monumental victory that will have a hugely positive impact on drivers ... and for thousands more in other industries where bogus self-employment is rife," said Maria Ludkin, legal director at the GMB union which brought the case, reported Reuters.

The tribunal ruled that the drivers be paid minimum wage and that working hours began when the drivers logged into the app. The current minimum wage is 7.20 pounds ($8.80) for over 21-year-olds.

"The Uber driver's working time starts as soon as he is within his territory, has the App switched on and is ready and willing to accept trips and ends as soon as one or more of those conditions ceases to apply," they said in their verdict.

The lawyers representing the drivers said that further hearings will determine the pay they should receive and calculate the holiday. The firm may also have to contribute to pension, they added.

Firms in Britain such as sports retailer Sports Direct have faced a backlash over their use of zero-hour contracts which erode pay and job security, Reuters said.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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