Addison Lee loses in ‘independent contractors’ tribunal ruling

Private hire company Addison Lee is the latest company to have been defeated in court over the treatment of “independent contractors” without rights to holiday pay or the National Minimum Wage.

The Guardian reports in a ruling at the Central London employment tribunal that the firm had unlawfully failed to pay the cycle courier Chris Gascoigne holiday pay.

The tribunal’s ruling that the cycle courier should be classed as a “worker” follows similar verdicts in cases brought in the last year against the likes of Uber, City Sprint, Excel and eCourier.

A spokesman for Addison Lee told the Guardian: “We note the tribunal’s verdict, which we will carefully review. Addison Lee is disappointed with the ruling as we have always had, and are committed to maintaining a flexible and fair relationship with cycle couriers.”

Also commenting on the case, Dave Chaplin, CEO and founder of ContractorCalculator, an adviser and information provider to freelancers, applauded the judge’s decision in the case.

“Whilst the gig economy is great in some circumstances, firms should not be misclassifying workers in contrived ways to avoid their duties as employers and give these workers rights.

“The dependent contractor is not a new status but an attempt to rename the existing worker and clarify in law what that means.  

“This is not an easy task and government needs to tread carefully so that it does not damage the genuine flexible workforce whilst trying to protect the vulnerable workers.”

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