UK panel rules Uber drivers have rights on wages, time off

LONDON (AP) — Uber lost the latest round in the battle over its operating model Friday, when a British panel ruled that the company’s drivers are workers, not independent contractors, in a decision with broad implications for the so-called gig economy.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld a lower panel’s decision, agreeing that the two drivers in this case were “workers” under British law and therefore should receive the minimum wage and paid holidays. Uber said it would appeal.

Judge Jennifer Eady rejected Uber’s argument that the men were independent contractors, because the drivers had no opportunity to make their own agreements with passengers and the company required them to accept 80 percent of trip requests when they were on duty.

The tribunal, Eady wrote in her decision, found “the drivers were integrated into the Uber business of providing transportation services.”