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Is Uber About To Get More Expensive?

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Uber drivers have won a landmark legal case meaning they can be classed as workers rather than self-employed contractors.

This means they will be entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the National Minimum Wage, reported the BBC. The company has been widely criticised for providing low pay, poor working conditions and a lack of workers' rights.

While the London employment tribunal's decision currently only affects the two drivers who brought the case, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, it sets a precedent and could soon apply to all 40,000 Uber drivers in England and Wales.

It may mean the cost of a journey will rise for customers if the company doesn't decide to absorb the extra costs itself, Tech Radar reported. Uber could also meet the additional cost by increasing the percentage of each fare that it keeps as commission, the BBC reported.

Uber said it will appeal the ruling and claimed it hasn't acted unlawfully. The company argued that its drivers were self-employed contractors who can choose when and where they work, rather than employees.

However, Aslam and Farrar argued that Uber controlled their actions but that they didn't have workers' rights, which ordinarily come with being employed.

The tribunal's decision was hailed a "monumental victory" by the GMB union, which brought the case.

The union's legal director, Maria Ludkin, said it "will have a hugely positive impact on drivers... and for thousands more in other industries where bogus self-employment is rife," the BBC reported.

Companies with similar business models include Deliveroo and other delivery services in the "on-demand" or "gig" economy.

"This is a ground-breaking decision," said Nigel Mackay from law firm Leigh Day, which represented the two drivers, the BBC reported.

"It will impact not just on the thousands of Uber drivers working in this country, but on all workers in the so-called gig economy whose employers wrongly classify them as self-employed and deny them the rights to which they are entitled."

But Uber remained adamant that it's not in the wrong. Jo Bertram, Uber's UK manager, said its London drivers "want to be self-employed and their own boss".

She added: "The overwhelming majority of drivers who use the Uber app want to keep the freedom and flexibility of being able to drive when and where they want."
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