A courier working for taxi company, Addison Lee, has been held by the Central London Employment Tribunal to be a worker, and not a self-employed independent contractor, in the latest ‘gig economy’ case on the issue of employment status.
Gig Economy: The Addison Lee Ruling
Employment judge, Joanna Wade, held at the Central London Employment Tribunal, that the courier, Christopher Gascoigne, was a worker and was not a self-employed independent contractor. Given that Mr Gascoigne was a worker, he is entitled to be paid holiday pay, the national minimum wage, and other benefits that workers are entitled to (but which he was not receiving, given that Addison Lee deemed him to be self-employed)
Reaction To The Addison Lee Judgment
Jason Moyer-Lee, the general secretary of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), the union which backed Mr Gascoigne in the case, stated: “As if we needed any more evidence, today’s judgment once again proves our point. The law is clear, and employers in the so-called gig economy have been choosing to unlawfully deprive their workers of rights. Yet another domino has fallen with regard to the inevitable conclusion that people in the so-called gig economy are workers.“
A statement given out on behalf of Addison Lee said: “We note the tribunal’s verdict, which we will carefully review. Addison Lee is disappointed with the ruling as we have always had, and are committed to maintaining a flexible and fair relationship with cycle couriers.“
Addison Lee Facing A Second Employment Tribunal Claim
One of Addison Lee’s private hire drivers has also brought an employment status claim against the company, a case that is backed by the trade union, the GMB. That case is due to be heard soon.