Mail and parcel delivery organisation DX is to face legal action over the entitlement of its delivery drivers to employment rights, such as being paid the national minimum wage and holiday pay.
The legal claim, which is being brought to employment tribunal by law firm Leigh Day, argues that drivers are not self-employed contractors but workers, and that they should therefore be entitled to receive employment rights. This would include being paid holiday pay and the national minimum wage.
The legal action is being brought on behalf of six DX drivers, and is supported by the GMB trade union.
The employment status issues were submitted to Acas, the workplace conciliation service, in March 2017, however an outcome was not reached.
Michael Newman, partner in the employment team at Leigh Day, said: “We believe that gig economy employers such as DX are trying to avoid their legal responsibilities by dressing up relations with their workers as self-employment. We intend to challenge this through the courts on behalf of those workers who are losing out.
“The gig economy refers to [organisations] operating a system where temporary positions are common and an attempt is made to label those working on short-term engagements as independent contractors. This practice can allow both the [organisation] and the individual more flexibility in the way they carry out their work. However, this flexibility is often used as an excuse to deny individuals security and basic workers’ rights.”
Justin Bowden, national secretary at GMB, added: “It is high time that gig economy employers like DX stepped up to their responsibilities for those who put in the hours for them. GMB will continue to challenge this shameful practice wherever we can. Multi-million pound employers need to realise that they cannot continue to avoid basic workers’ rights.”
DX had not provided a response to a request for comment at the time of publication.