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GMB takes Addison Lee to tribunal over worker status

GMB, the union for private hire drivers, is taking Addison Lee to the employment tribunal over its members’ worker status.

3 July 2017

The hearing begins on Tuesday July 4 at the Central London employment tribunal, Kingsway, London.

The challenge brought by the GMB involves three Addison Lee workers represented by law firm Leigh Day.

The worker status aspect of the legal challenge deals with GMB’s assertion that Addison Lee drivers are workers and are therefore entitled to the national minimum wage and holiday pay, benefits they do not currently benefit from.

In October GMB, represented by Leigh Day, won a similar ground-breaking victory against Uber.

The ruling of the Tribunal in the Uber case means that drivers should be entitled to be paid at least the national minimum wage and holiday pay amongst other benefits. 

This landmark case has major implications for more than 30,000 drivers across England and Wales.

Uber is currently contesting the decision in the employment appeal tribunal.

Maria Ludkin, GMB Legal Director, said:

“Addison Lee is shirking its responsibilities through bogus self-employment.

“Addison Lee drivers work for Addison Lee and are entitled to the same basic rights and benefits as workers in other industries.

“GMB continues to fight for the rights of our members wherever we see exploitation disguised as bogus self-employment.”

Liana Wood, an employment lawyer at Leigh Day who is representing the drivers, said:

“Addison Lee currently denies that its drivers are entitled to the most basic of workers’ rights. They argue that drivers do not work for Addison Lee but instead work for themselves and are self-employed.

“On behalf of our clients we will claim that Addison Lee is wrongly classifying its drivers as self-employed with the result that drivers are denied the rights and protections that they were lawfully intended them to have, including the right to not have their contracts terminated because they are members of a trade union.

“We will argue that Addison Lee exerts significant control over its drivers in order to provide a highly trained and vetted driving service to the public. If Addison Lee wishes to operate in this way, and to reap the substantial benefits, then it must acknowledge its responsibilities towards those drivers as workers.

“This claim is vital for the thousands of Addison Lee drivers who work in England and Wales and has implications even wider than that. We are seeing a creeping erosion of employment rights as companies misclassify their workers as self-employed so as to avoid paying them holiday pay and the national minimum wage.”

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