Uber is halting ride-sharing in much of Belgium after a court ruling extends a 2015 order banning UberPop to also include professional ride-sharing drivers.
The company is studying the details of the ruling to decide whether it may appeal the decision to the country’s Supreme Court.
The move also comes on the heels of a temporary suspension of Uber’s service in Brussels in… Month September, a measure the tech giant called exceptional and unprecedented, saying it was taking the step to protest the lack of reform of rules banning drivers from using smartphones.
Following the ruling by the Brussels Court of Appeal this week, drivers of private rental cars close A main tunnel in the Belgian capital.
In a statement about the impending shutdown, the company attacked the Belgian government for not introducing a reform it had been pushing for, and said: “This decision was made based on outdated regulations written sometime before smartphones, which the government has promised and failed to fix for the past seven years.”
Uber stressed that the appeals court ruling affects only drivers with licenses in Brussels.
The company added that it is deeply concerned about 2,000 LVC license holders (also known as rental cars with driver’s licenses) losing their ability to make profits through the company’s platform.
The monetization statement indicates that Uber does not directly employ drivers in Belgium, and instead classifies them as independent contractors. As a result, it cannot claim that 2,000 jobs are about to be lost because it does not provide employment contracts for the LVC drivers involved in the first place.
The company urged the government to move quickly to reform the taxi and LVC sector so drivers can continue working to support their families.
Uber is banned from working
In March, the local government in Brussels banned Uber drivers from picking up passengers via smartphones and geolocation.
Since then, Uber drivers in the city have been operating in a legal gray area. And they risk penalties by continuing to drive using its app.
However, the company notes that drivers have received conflicting messages. They claim that authorities sometimes tell drivers – in private – that they can continue driving.
Concern about temporary working conditions has been a burning topic across Europe for years. This led to dozens of legal challenges.
And a 2017 ruling by Europe’s top court declared Uber to be a transportation service. As a result, they cannot evade local taxi regulations.
And in the United Kingdom. The company was forced to recognize drivers as workers after losing a series of recruitment challenges in the country’s Supreme Court.
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