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Uber loses final appeal against drivers’ employment status in UK

Uber has lost the final appeal in a long running UK legal battle over whether its drivers are self-employed or legally-recognized workers with all the attendant rights, Bloomberg reports. The ruling is the conclusion of the company’s five-year legal fight in the country and a major setback for Uber that could affect all gig workers in the UK, regardless of employer...

In response to the ruling, Uber’s regional general manager for northern and eastern Europe Jamie Heywood said that the company respect’s the court’s decision, but added that it “focused on a small number of drivers who used the Uber app in 2016,” and that the ruling doesn’t reclassify all of its UK drivers as workers.

“Since then we have made some significant changes to our business, guided by drivers every step of the way,” Heywood said. “These include giving even more control over how they earn and providing new protections like free insurance in case of sickness or injury. We are committed to doing more and will now consult with every active driver across the UK to understand the changes they want to see.”

In a blog post, Uber said that the ruling classifies the drivers as “workers” rather than “employees,” which is a legally distinct category. It also says that certain elements of its service which were described in the judgement no longer apply, including penalties for drivers who reject multiple trips...

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