In an important ruling, which will affect thousands of Addison Lee drivers, the Employment Tribunal has today ruled that a group of Addison Lee drivers were not self-employed, as Addison Lee argued, but are workers who are entitled to essential workers’ rights, including to be paid the National Minimum Wage, receive holiday pay and not have their contracts terminated because they are members of a Trade Union.
The drivers’ claims, which are supported by the trade union, GMB, were heard in the London Central Employment Tribunal in July 2017.
Liana Wood, from the Employment team at law firm Leigh Day, which represents the drivers, said: “We are very pleased that the Employment Tribunal has found in favour of our clients.
"This judgment acknowledges the central contribution that Addison Lee’s drivers have made to the success of the company by confirming that its drivers are not self-employed but that they work for Addison Lee as part of Addison Lee’s business.
"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.
"This is a very important decision by the Employment Tribunal and will go some way to addressing these issues. This decision will not just have an impact on the thousands of Addison Lee drivers but, following on from the decision in Uber, on all workers in the so-called gig economy whose employers classify them as self-employed and deny them the rights to which they are entitled.
There will now be a further hearing in the Employment Tribunal to calculate the holiday and pay that the drivers should receive.