Last week the Court of Appeal ruled Addison Lee will not be permitted to appeal an Employment Tribunal’s decision that drivers are entitled to workers’ rights, but what does this mean for your claim?
Last week the Court of Appeal ruled Addison Lee will not be permitted to appeal an Employment Tribunal’s decision that drivers are entitled to workers’ rights, but what does this mean for your claim? Here, Liana Wood, a solicitor in the employment team, explains the next steps.
This is a huge decision in favour of Addison Lee drivers and yet another blow to big firms operating in the gig economy.
It follows hot on the heels of the landmark Uber judgment in the Supreme Court stating that Uber drivers are entitled to receive the national minimum wage and holiday pay.
What does having workers’ rights mean?
Workers are entitled to certain employment rights, including: being paid at least the national minimum wage, protection against unlawful deductions from wages, paid holiday and protection against unlawful discrimination.
Addison Lee had claimed that drivers are self-employed independent contractors and that they were therefore not entitled to the rights normally given to workers.
What happens next?
The case will now return to the Employment Tribunal which will address the issue of how much compensation drivers are entitled to. Compensation will be based on two factors; how much holiday pay a driver should have received and whether they received less than the minimum wage for their hours worked.
To calculate holiday pay, the Tribunal will look at how long you have worked for Addison Lee and how much you earned during that time. It will then work out how much paid holiday you should have received.
The Tribunal will also need to work out if you were paid at least the national minimum wage during each week that you worked for Addison Lee. This will depend on how much you earned on a weekly basis and how much you spent on expenses relating to your work – such as petrol and hiring your vehicle.
We will use documents such as your weekly summaries, payment statements, tax returns/accounts, bank statements or receipts to help calculate the compensation you’re owed.
Addison Lee say the ruling only applies to three drivers. What does this mean for my claim?
Despite Addison Lee’s assertions, we will argue that the Court of Appeal Judgment should apply to all claimants.
Does this ruling mean I will lose my flexibility?
There is no legal reason why this needs to be the case. Many jobs involve casual working arrangements where workers have flexible hours but still receive paid holiday and are paid at least the minimum wage.
Going forward, Addison Lee would need to ensure it allows drivers to take time off and pays them for this.
Also, Addison Lee would need to make sure the rate it pays its drivers is high enough that they receive at least the minimum wage when you take into account expenses such as vehicle hire and petrol.
When will compensation be awarded?
It is difficult to predict how long it will take for compensation to be awarded, as it depends on how quickly the Tribunal can deal with the next steps. We will be asking for compensation to be determined as soon as possible.
Can I still join the claim?
Yes. It is important to note that only drivers who have brought successful claims will be legally entitled to compensation.