UK – Addison Lee refused permission to appeal landmark gig economy case
Taxi and courier firm Addison Lee has been refused permission to appeal a landmark employment rights case which saw the Central London Employment Tribunal rule that bicycle couriers should be classed as workers and are entitled to all the rights of a worker.
In November 2018, the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the Central London Employment Tribunal’s decision.
Addison Lee had then requested permission to appeal the decisions by the Employment Appeal Tribunal and Central London Employment Tribunal. However, this request was denied by the Court of Appeal.
Chris Gascoigne, who worked for Addison Lee as a courier, brought the claim for £800 worth of holiday pay. He claimed he had been treated as a worker, and that he should have been entitled to the same rights as a worker, which includes benefits such as the national minimum wage and holiday pay, however the courier firm said Gascoigne was an independent contractor.
The tribunals found that Addison Lee had unlawfully denied Gascoigne basic employment rights by classing him as an independent contractor, rather than a worker.
According to the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, the case marks the first time a court has denied a gig economy company the right to appeal an employment rights decision.
Gascoigne commented, “I’m glad that after years of fighting this in the courts, there is now no question that I was a worker and entitled to employment rights. This case wasn’t just about me, but about all the other hundreds of Addison Lee couriers that were on exactly the same contract that I was on. I hope with this victory the company stops acting unlawfully and grants all couriers the rights they are legally entitled to.”
“IWGB General Secretary Jason Moyer-Lee also commented, “After several years of a delay strategy Addison Lee has now come to the end of the road. The company is unlawfully depriving their couriers of employment rights and its defence is unarguable. It’s time for Addison Lee to accept it has lost and start giving its couriers holidays, pensions and other basic rights.”
Staffing Industry Analysts reached out to Addison Lee for comment but the company had not yet commented.