Employment lawyer: Uber drivers couldn't get vacation, minimum wage here

British Uber drivers have won the right to paid vacation time and minimum wage.

An employment tribunal played in their favour Friday.

The GMB union says the decision will have a "major" impact on as many as 30, 000 drivers, who argued they should get the work rights of employees.

Uber plans to appeal the decision.

But could Ontario Uber drivers ever get access to benefits similar to those awarded in the UK?

From employment lawyer Howard Levitt it is a flat no.

The company argues it is a technology company that links self-employed drivers with people who need rides. It also says drivers should seek arbitration in the Netherlands, where Uber's European operations are based.

"In Canada, in Ontario specifically, there is no chance they'd be deemed dependent contractors based on what I understand this relationship (with Uber) to be," Levitt tells NEWSTALK 1010's Jerry Agar.

Levitt sees Uber drivers as independent contractors, able to choose their own hours, decide whether or not to start taking fares.

He cannot see Uber drivers being entitled to Ontario's $11.40/hour minimum wage because he does not believe they meet the legal definition of employees.

Ontario's Employment Standards Act defines an employee as a person who performs work or supplies services to an employer for wages.

Liberal Beaches-East York MPP Arthur Potts was also a guest of Jerry Agar's Friday. He seemed to welcome a legislative change to extend some benefits to Uber drivers.

"They're (Uber) not above board, they don't play by the rules. So, anything we can do to stop them or force them to play by the same rules as cab drivers, I'm okay with, " Potts said.

with files from the Associated Press