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Uber loses appeal in UK, must treat drivers as workers

The ride-hailing service was accused of "exploiting drivers" by classifying them as self-employed.

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Uber is fighting to have its London licence renewed.

Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP / Getty Images

Ride-hailing app Uber has lost an appeal against a ruling that its drivers should be classed as workers instead of as self-employed. 

Uber's appeal was rejected at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in London on Friday morning, according to Reuters.

"I have been campaigning against Uber since 2014 and although I always knew I was on the right side, it has always been a struggle that has brought enormous pressure on us. I am glad that the judge today confirmed what I and thousands of drivers have known all along: That Uber is not only exploiting drivers, but also acting unlawfully," said co-claimant Yaseen Aslam, who has the backing of the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain

Uber has said it will appeal the decision.

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"The tribunal relies on the assertion that drivers are required to take 80% of trips sent to them when logged into the app," said Tom Elvidge, Uber UK's acting general manager. "As drivers who use Uber know, this has never been the case in the UK. Over the last year we have made a number of changes to our app to give drivers even more control. We've also invested in things like access to illness and injury cover and we'll keep introducing changes to make driving with Uber even better. Almost all taxi and private hire drivers have been self-employed for decades, long before our app existed." 

The news comes as Uber continues to attempt to regain its licence in London after Transport for London, the city's transport regulator, said the company was "unfit" to serve the capital.

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