Ride-hailing firm Uber has lost its appeal against a ruling that its drivers should be classed as workers, and therefore be entitled to rights such as holiday pay.
The Court of Appeal upheld a decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal, which last year dismissed Uber’s appeal against an earlier tribunal hearing.
Unions welcomed the ruling as an “early Christmas present“ for Uber drivers, with implications for the wider so-called gig economy.
Tim Roache, general secretary of the GMB, said: “We’re now at a hat-trick of judgements against Uber. They keep appealing and keep losing.
“Uber should accept the verdict and stop trying to find loopholes that deprive people of their hard-won rights and pay.”
Nigel Mackay of law firm Leigh Day, which was involved in the case, said: “This is the third time the drivers have been victorious in their fight for workers’ rights but Uber has yet to give them what three legal decisions have ruled they are entitled to – holiday pay and to be paid at least the minimum wage.
“We hope that Uber now faces up to its responsibilities instead of spending time and money in the courts attempting to deny its drivers these rights.”
A spokeswoman for Uber said: “This decision was not unanimous and does not reflect the reasons why the vast majority of drivers choose to use the Uber app.
“Drivers who use the Uber app make more than the London living wage and want to keep the freedom to choose if, when and where they drive.
“If drivers were classified as workers they would inevitably lose some of the freedom and flexibility that comes with being their own boss.”