The Employment Appeal Tribunal has confirmed the Employment Tribunal’s finding that Addison’s Lee’s drivers were ‘workers’.
This decision is unsurprising on the facts and is in line with previous decisions on individuals working in the ‘gig economy’.
A number of Addison Lees’ divers brought claims under the legislation relating to the national minimum wage and working time. In order to bring such claims, the drivers had to demonstrate that they were ‘workers’ and not self-employed contractors.
Addison Lee drivers were all given a hand-held computer known as an XDA. They logged on to the XDA when they were available to work and were then automatically allocated work depending on their location. Crucially, they had to accept jobs allocated to them or to provide an acceptable reason why the job was refused. If an unacceptable reason was given for refusing a job then sanctions followed.
Accordingly, although the drivers had discretion about when and where they logged on to the XDA, while they were logged on they were at Addison Lee’s disposal.
The Employment Tribunal found that, on this basis, the drivers had an obligation to perform work personally while logged on to the XDA and so were ‘workers’.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision
The Employment Appeal Tribunal had little difficulty in upholding the Employment Tribunal’s decision and said that the drivers were workers.