A former Uber driver who was beaten up by passengers says he hopes the company loses a court hearing which could see employees lose out on workers’ rights.

James Farrar and his colleague, Yaseen Aslam, won a court case against the taxi firm in 2016 for extra rights – including minimum wage.

But Uber appealed the decision in the Court of Appeal yesterday.

Mr Farrar was assaulted two years ago, whilst working for Uber and claims the company refused to do anything to help identify the assailants, until the police forced them to as part of their investigation.

Although nobody was ever prosecuted Mr Farrar wanted to make sure he reported the crime to make his employers were aware of the danger he had been in.

He said “Getting beaten up was the reason I wanted to stand up for drivers’ right. It was the catalyst that made me take action.

“It took Uber 10 weeks – in a normal job that would not have happened. Uber only did something about it when they were compelled to by the police. It has no respect for its drivers.

“It made me realise there was something monumentally wrong.”

The assault took place one evening when Mr Farrar was driving two women from Shoreditch to Canary Wharf.

He refused to continue driving them because they had drunk too much, but one of the women became abusive and hit him repeatedly.

Mr Farrar said: “She was racially abusive, then she started hitting me and then came after the taxi and started kicking the car too.

“It felt like nobody helped me at the time.

“If Uber beats this appeal it does not change the facts. The law needs to be reformed to protect workers from this type of exploitation.”

Mr Farrar also says he had to work at least 35 hours for Uber in order to offset petrol and other costs before earning a living.

This was something he also spoke about yesterday before the court hearing, when Uber drivers and other self-employed workers took to the streets of London to call for better worker’s rights.

Mr Farrar, who now works as a self-employed minicab driver in the capital, added: “We have to accept a very low wage to work ‘family hours’ or work 90 hours to earn anything more than minimum wage.”

The decision on whether Uber has been successful in overturning the courts original decision is expected over the coming months.

A spokesperson for Uber said: “We believe the Employment Appeal Tribunal last year fundamentally misunderstood how we operate.

“Over the last two years we’ve made many changes to give drivers even more control over how they use the app, alongside more security through sickness, maternity and paternity protections. We’ll keep listening to drivers and introduce further improvements.”

Uber drivers use a special app to communicate with the company and find out details of how and when they work.