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Uber in ‘minicab company’ shocker

Labour got one back at capital on Friday, after an employment tribunal in London found that Uber’s circa 30,000 drivers in the city are actually its workers after all, and accordingly deserve employment protection. With potentially epic consequences for its costs, its tax bill, and the entire gig economy, that would mean Uber is no longer a mere intermediary platform. At least in the tribunal’s eyes. The ruling might not bind other courts, and of course Uber is going to appeal. Still, on the other hand, there’s another interesting thread in the judgment: what Uber claims to be, and how that stands up in court. The next time someone says Uber isn’t a taxi or transportation company, but something much more wonderful — justifying its considerable valuation and explaining why Saudi Arabia is pouring money into it — you might now direct them to paragraphs 85 onwards of the reasoning for the ruling, as written by Judge Snelson and members of the tribunal.

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Labour got one back at capital on Friday, after an employment tribunal in London

Joseph Cotterill
Joseph is the FT’s Southern Africa correspondent based in Johannesburg, after previous stints as private equity correspondent and on the Lex column. But he still writes for Alphaville, which he joined way back in March 2010 — right in the middle of the Greek bailout crisis. He has been very interested in all things credit and sovereign debt ever since…

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