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EAT upholds claim that Addison Lee courier was worker

15 May 2018
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has upheld a claim by Christopher Gascoigne against Addison Lee and accepted that he was a worker, rather than self-employed. The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) represented Gascoigne, who first took the taxi and courier firm to an employment tribunal last year. The initial employment tribunal heard that Addison Lee described Gascoigne as an ‘independent contractor’ in his written contract but found that this did not reflect the reality of the working relationship. Addison Lee appealed the initial tribunal’s decision, claiming that Gascoigne was under no legal obligation to work, and could accept jobs offered to him when logged on to the company’s system. It also contested the employment tribunal’s assertion that Gascoigne was a ‘limb (b)’ worker, and was therefore entitled to certain employment rights, including the right to holiday pay. In dismissing the claim, the EAT referred to the fact that Gascoigne had claimed he could get into a “tricky situation” for not accepting a job, and that his location was often tightly controlled so he was well placed for future deliveries during the day. It also referred to points made in the initial tribunal that there was no negotiation over the terms of Gascoigne’s contract and that he was provided with “statements that were payslips in all but name”. He also had to perform the job ‘personally’ – a common consideration in gig economy cases – because he had to have clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). IWGB’s general secretary, Dr Jason Moyer-Lee, said of the decision: “For anyone who has the vaguest awareness of employment law, the fact that Addison Lee has lost its appeal will come as no surprise. “The real shocker is that, even though tribunal after tribunal after tribunal has shown that companies in the so-called ‘gig economy’ are unlawfully depriving their workers of rights, the Government still does nothing but talk.” For more information on employment status please contact Hina Belitz on 02073746546 / hina@partnerslaw.co.uk

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