1 April: Addison Lee has been refused permission to appeal a landmark worker rights case brought by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) and bicycle courier Chris Gascoigne, marking the first time a court has denied a gig economy company the right to appeal an employment rights decision.
Addison Lee had requested permission to appeal the decisions by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) and Central London Employment Tribunal, which stated that Gascoigne was a worker and entitled to basic employment rights such as holiday pay. This request was denied by the Court of Appeal.
In the first ruling at the employment tribunal in 2017, which was later upheld by the EAT, employment judge Joanna Wade had been scathing about Addison Lee's use of contradictory language in its contract and its attempts to frighten off Gascoigne. The tribunals found that the company had unlawfully denied Gascoigne basic employment rights by classing him as an independent contractor, rather than a worker.
Courier and claimant Chris Gascoigne said: “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 said: “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.”
In December 2017 an Addison Lee manager was caught on camera admitting to blacklisting a courier due to his trade union activity.
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Emiliano Mellino, press officer
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