Addison Lee faces defeat in court over cycle couriers’ status

Addison Lee faces defeat in court over cycle couriers’ status


Minicab firm Addison Lee loses battle in court over the status of its cycle couriers, who should have been treated as employees, not “independent contractors”.

The London Central Employment Tribunal ruled that the company had unlawfully failed to provide holiday pay or the national minimum wage

The tribunal ruled that cycle courier Chris Gascoigne should be classified as a “worker” rather than “independent contractor”.

Addison Lee is the latest to face defeat – similar verdicts have been seen in cases brought against Uber, CitySprint, Excel and eCourier.

The judge, Joanna Wade, said that Gascoigne should be guaranteed holiday pay and the national minimum wage.

The judgment was based on the facts that Gascoigne had been issued an Addison Lee branded bag and shirt, answered to a central controller and used company IT devices, which did not have a ‘decline’ button when a job was offered.

Gascoigne was asked to sign a contract which stated: “You agree that you are an independent contractor and that nothing in this agreement shall render you an employee, worker, agent or partner of Addison Lee.”

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain supported Gascoigne’s case.

The ruling came just a week after employment tribunal fees were dubbed as being unlawful and an obstruction to justice.

“We note the tribunal’s verdict, which we will carefully review,” a spokesman for the minicab firm said.

“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.”

This month Uber will begin its own two-day appeal against the ruling made by the London Employment Tribunal last year in favour of two of their partner-drivers, stating that they should be considered workers rather than self-employed.

The initial ruling last October claimed the drivers should be entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the national minimum wage. The case begins on 27 September.