Another triumph for cyclists

Following in the tracks of CitySprint, Deliveroo and Excel, Addison Lee is the latest company to wrongly classify its workforce.
In a claim again supported by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), an employment tribunal has held that Addison Lee wrongly classified Christopher Gascoigne as an independent courier. The judge hearing the case, Ms Joanna Wade, was the same judge who made the damming finding against CitySprint in January (see As in the CitySprint case, Judge Wade was critical of the construction of the contract that Addison Lee had put in place in an attempt to avoid a finding of worker status. Further, Judge Wade criticised an indemnity included in the contract against any liability Addison Lee may face based on any employment-related claim. Not only was it thought to be an attempt to frighten the worker off litigating, it also suggested that Addison Lee knew the risk it faced in portraying Mr Gascoigne as self-employed.
The IWGB has been supremely active in fighting for rights for those working in the gig economy. In another claim that it has supported against The Doctors Laboratory (see, it is asking the Central Employment Tribunal to make a finding that five couriers are in fact employees. Such status gives more rights, including the right not to be unfairly dismissed. The IWGB also awaits a decision by the Central Arbitration Committee over the employment status and union recognition case it brought against Deliveroo.
We also await the Government’s considerations of the Taylor Review (see The evidence appears to be overwhelming that a contracting company should categorise any worker under its control and supervision with a new status which entitles them to holiday pay, sick pay and the minimum wage.
Mr Gascoigne’s status of worker entitles him to holiday pay and the national minimum wage. The employment tribunal will list a separate hearing to decide the amount of holiday pay owed to Mr Gascoigne.

Verity Buckingham

About Verity Buckingham

Verity is experienced in all aspects of employment law and corporate immigration matters. She deals mostly with corporate clients advising on contentious and non-contentious employment matters. Verity's contentious practice includes defending claims in the Employment Tribunal and experience of Employment Appeal Tribunal litigation in relation to claims of unfair dismissal, discrimination, equal pay and whistleblowing.

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