Employment Appeal Tribunal rejects Addison Lee appeal against ruling on workers' rights
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has rejected Addison Lee's arguments that their drivers are self-employed contractors running their own businesses.
Posted on 14 November 2018
The EAT confirmed the Employment Tribunal’s decision that the true nature of the relationship is that Addison Lee drivers work for Addison Lee. The ruling will affect thousands of Addison Lee drivers.
In the Judgment published today, the EAT upheld the Employment Tribunal’s September 2017 decision that three Addison Lee drivers were entitled to receive the National Minimum Wage and holiday pay. The EAT confirmed that the ‘unrealistic terms and conditions’ that drivers had to sign did not reflect what was actually agreed.
Importantly the EAT upheld the Tribunal’s finding that there was an ‘overarching agreement’ between Addison Lee and drivers. It was also confirmed that drivers were working - and therefore entitled to the national minimum wage - from the time they logged on as ready to transport passengers until the time they logged off.
The claims brought by GMB trade union, represented by law firm Leigh Day, were heard in the London Central Employment Tribunal in July 2017.
Since then, over 40 GMB member drivers have joined the group claim against Addison Lee
Liana Wood, solicitor at Leigh Day, who represents the drivers, said:
“We are very pleased that the EAT has rejected Addison Lee’s appeal. It is clear that Addison Lee’s business model of providing a fleet of highly trained, regulated drivers is incompatible with their arguments that drivers are not workers who are entitled to workers’ fundamental rights.
"We hope that Addison Lee will accept this decision; drivers shouldn’t have to continue to work very long hours, often in excess of 60 hours per week, to earn just enough to meet their basic living costs.”
Michaell Lange, one of the drivers who have brought claims against Addison Lee, said:
“We decided to bring this claim in 2016 because we wanted Addison Lee to treat drivers fairly; we are happy that the decision that we were workers for Addison Lee has been upheld. We now urge Addison Lee to do the decent thing and stop denying its workforce of over 4000 drivers their rights.”
Sue Harris, GMB Legal Director, said:
“This is another huge win for GMB over bogus self-employment.
“Once again the courts have agreed Addison Lee drivers are legally entitled to workers’ rights such as the national minimum wage and holiday pay rights.
“Other employers should take note – GMB will not stop pursuing these exploitative companies on behalf of our members.”