2 August: The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has won an employment status case against Addison Lee at the London Central Employment tribunal, which ruled that the company was unlawfully classifying a courier as an independent contractor.

The tribunal ruled that Christopher Gascoigne was in fact a worker and consequently entitled to holiday pay and the national minimum wage. The amount of holiday pay owed by the company to Gascoigne will be determined in a later hearing.

Workers, as opposed to independent contractors, are entitled to holiday pay, guaranteed minimum wage and protection against discrimination. Employees have further rights to sick pay and protection against unfair dismissal.

This decision is the last one relating to a slew of employment status cases brought simultaneously last year by the IWGB against four courier companies – CitySprint, Excel, eCourier and Addison Lee. In all four cases the judge ruled or the company admitted that the couriers were in fact workers and not independent contractors.

As if we needed any more evidence, today’s judgment once again proves our point. The law is clear and employers in the so-called “gig economy” have been choosing to unlawfully deprive their workers of rights,” said IWGB General Secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee “Yet another domino has fallen with regard to the inevitable conclusion that people in the so-called “gig economy” are workers.

In another case brought against The Doctors Laboratory, the company has also admitted that its couriers were workers, but the IWGB has not dropped its claim and demands that the Central Employment Tribunal go further and determine that five couriers are in fact employees.

The IWGB also awaits a decision by the Central Arbitration Committee over the employment status and union recognition case it brought against food delivery company Deliveroo.

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