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LONDON : A group of drivers are entitled to worker rights such as the minimum wage at Uber, Britain's Supreme Court decided on Friday in a blow to the ride-hailing service that could have ramifications for millions of others in the gig economy.

In a case led by two drivers, a London employment tribunal ruled in 2016 that they were due entitlements such as paid holidays and rest breaks.

"The Supreme Court unanimously dismisses Uber's appeal," judge George Leggatt said.

"The legislation is intended to give certain protections to vulnerable individuals who have little or no say over their pay and working conditions."

Uber drivers are currently treated as self-employed, meaning that in law they are only afforded minimal protections.

Uber said the decision by the British Court only related to a small number of drivers and it would now launch a consultation on the changes needed.

"We respect the Court's decision which focussed on a small number of drivers who used the Uber app in 2016," Uber's Northern and Eastern Europe boss Jamie Heywood said.

"We are committed to doing more and will now consult with every active driver across the UK to understand the changes they want to see."

A total of 25 drivers form part of an expanded group who are in the case. Uber has around 60,000 drivers in Britain, including 45,000 in London, one of its most important markets.

It could still take several months for the details of Friday's decision to be worked out if a further employment tribunal hearing is needed to sort through practicalities over sums owed to drivers.

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