Embattled Uber loses UK workers rights appeal

A British tribunal has upheld a lower body’s decision that Uber drivers are entitled to rights including minimum wage and vacation time. It’s yet another blow to the taxi service as it struggles to survive in its most important European market. Matthew Larotonda reports.

Uber suffering another legal defeat in the United Kingdom on Friday (November 10) as it struggles to maintain its presence in the country.

It lost an appeal against regulators’ decision that Uber drivers are entitled to workers rights — like the minimum wage and paid vacation — similar to normal employees.

The taxi service is likely to challenge the ruling again in a higher body, and the case could go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Defeat could be a fatal blow to Uber in the UK.

It would force the taxi app to rethink its entire business model there, as those benefits would cut severely into their profit margins.

Uber says its drivers are not employees and should be treated as independent contractors – like traditional British black cab drivers, seen here.

But it’s a gray area because Uber has much more control over its drivers than a normal taxi service.

The new ruling comes as the company is in appeals to hold onto its license in London, after the city decided to revoke it due to safety concerns.

Failure to survive in Britain could have a domino effect. It’s Uber’s most important European market.

Reuters estimates London alone accounts for over half of its net sales across the continent.