Tribunal rules Addison Lee cycle courier was a worker

There has recently been another defeat for employers in the gig economy who are seeking to classify those working for them as independent contractors instead of workers.

The London Central Employment Tribunal has recently ruled that a former cycle courier of the premier car and courier service, Addison Lee, was a worker. Although his contract clearly stated that he was self-employed and there was a clause where he indemnified Addison Lee for any “claim based on worker status brought by [him]”, the Tribunal held that in reality he was a worker.  As such, he was entitled to holiday pay and the National Minimum Wage.

This is the latest in a series of cases on employment status, including those brought against Uber, Excel and CitySprint. It provides further confirmation that those working at the heart of the gig economy, as couriers or drivers for example, are often in reality workers rather than self-employed contractors.

The decision comes hot on the heels of the BEIS backed Taylor report, which made a number of recommendations to help clarify worker status. It also comes a week after the Supreme Court decision that tribunal fees are unlawful, which is likely to result in a rise in the number of claims lodged by workers in respect of their employment status.

Contact our experts for further advice

Kerry Garcia

Search our site