The London Central Employment Tribunal has ruled that a former cycle courier who worked for car and courier organisation Addison Lee was employed as a worker, not as an independent contractor, and should have been entitled to employment rights including holiday pay and the national minimum wage.
Christopher Gascoigne, who worked for Addison Lee as a cycle courier for seven years, contended that he should be classified as a worker rather than an independent contractor, and was therefore entitled to receive holiday pay, the national minimum wage, and protection against discrimination.
Gascoigne’s claim was supported by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB).
Following the tribunal’s ruling, the amount of holiday pay owed to Gascoigne by Addison Lee will be decided at a later hearing.
An Addison Lee spokesperson said: “We note the tribunal’s verdict, which we will carefully review. Addison Lee is disappointed with the ruling [because] we have always had, and are committed to maintaining, a flexible and fair relationship with cycle couriers. This is a single judgement based on one pushbike courier and the circumstances of his particular relationship with Addison Lee in March 2016.”
Dr Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary at the IWGB, added: “As if we needed any more evidence, today’s judgement 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.”
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