Uber drivers have been classed as company employees in landmark ruling over employment rights

Updated: 

Uber has lost a tribunal case on the employment rights of its workers, which could see thousands of drivers given full employee benefits.

Two drivers who took the company to court over whether or not they should be classed as employees argued that they should be entitled to holiday pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and sick breaks.

Until now, the Silicon Valley-based enterprise argued that drivers were self-employed workers and that the company was a technology company rather than a taxi service.

(Yui Mok/PA)
Drivers in England and Wales may now be entitled to holiday pay and a guaranteed minimum wage (Yui Mok/PA)

The GMB union that supported the claimants said the ruling could now have major implications for the more than 30,000 drivers across England and Wales.

Nigel Mackay from law firm Leigh Day, which represented the drivers, said: "We are delighted that the employment tribunal has found in favour of our clients.

"This judgment acknowledges the central contribution that Uber's drivers have made to Uber's success by confirming that its drivers are not self-employed but that they work for Uber as part of the company's business.

"Uber drivers often work very long hours just to earn enough to cover their basic living costs. It is the work carried out by these drivers that has allowed Uber to become the multibillion-dollar global corporation it is."