An employment tribunal has ruled that a group of Addison Lee drivers were workers and therefore entitled to rights such as holiday pay and the national minimum wage.
The ruling will affect thousands of drivers working for the taxi and courier company, according to the law firm representing them, Leigh Day.
Worker status of drivers
The drivers brought their case to the London Central Employment Tribunal in July, supported by trade union GMB, which has supported similar claims by drivers for taxi firm Uber.
Addison Lee claimed that all of its UK drivers are self-employed, so can choose their own hours but cannot have access to traditional employment benefits that those with “worker” or “employee” employment status would receive.
GMB, however, argued that the company was “shirking its responsibilities through bogus self-employment”.
Liana Wood of the employment team at Leigh Day said: “Addison Lee advertises itself as a premium driving service and seeks to ensure that its drivers meet the high standard required for that premium service.
“However, Addison Lee drivers very often work very long hours, in excess of 60 hours a week, in order to just earn enough to cover their basic living costs. Addison Lee has sought to deny its drivers the most basic workers’ rights, including to be paid the national minimum wage and to receive paid holiday.”
She added that the judgement acknowledged the “central contribution that Addison Lee’s drivers have made to the success of the company”.
There will now be a further tribunal hearing to calculate the holiday and pay that the drivers should receive.
An Addison Lee spokesman said: “We note the tribunal’s verdict, which we will carefully review. Addison Lee is disappointed with the ruling as we have always had, and are committed to maintaining, a flexible and fair relationship which generates work for 3,800 drivers.”