TFL has announced that ride-hailing app Uber will not be given a new private hire licence to operate in London, saying that Uber’s approach to business “demonstrated a lack of corporate responsibility which could have potential public safety and security implications”.
Uber said it would immediately appeal the decision.
Emma O’Leary, employment law consultant for the ELAS Group, says: “Uber has faced challenges to its business model in cities around the world and in October of last year, a tribunal in London handed down a verdict against them in what was dubbed as the employment law case of the year.
“The tribunal ruled in favour of drivers who said they should be classified as workers rather than self-employed, in the first of several challenges to the gig economy. Uber have appealed that decision.
“While we understand this is not solely the reason behind TFL cancelling Uber’s license to operate in London, it is sure to have had a bearing on the decision. London taxi drivers have historically had good protection in terms of working conditions and there were concerns when Uber started operating in the UK that their drivers were not offered the same protection. From a business stance, it’s important to realise the impact that a negative tribunal decision can have on a company both in terms of reputation and future business opportunities. Although the case has not been through the Employment Appeal Tribunal so is not final as of yet, it still has far reaching implications that cannot be ignored.”