Leigh Day launches legal claim against delivery company DX over employment status
Leigh Day has formally issued legal proceedings in the employment tribunal against delivery company DX.
Posted on 26 April 2017
The legal claims, funded by the trade union GMB, are being brought on behalf of six DX drivers who claim that they are being denied their rights as workers.
The issues raised by the DX drivers were submitted to ACAS early conciliation last month but after failing to reach a satisfactory outcome legal proceedings have now commenced.
Success in the claims will force DX to reconsider how it treats all its workers. DX drivers are currently viewed as ‘self-employed contractors’ by DX, meaning that they are denied basic rights such as holiday pay and National Minimum Wage.
Drivers are paid at a rate determined by DX, which is not usually negotiable, and their route is determined by DX. Drivers are obliged to accept whatever volume of parcels is given to them for delivery. They cannot refuse to deliver items in their manifest. In addition, they will face financial penalties if they do not deliver parcels that cannot be located or are inadvertently left at the depot.
Michael Newman, partner in the Leigh Day Employment team, said: “We believe that gig economy employers such as DX are trying to avoid their legal responsibilities by dressing up relations with their workers as self-employment. We intend to challenge this through the courts on behalf of those workers who are losing out.
“The ‘gig economy’ refers to companies operating a system where temporary positions are common and an attempt is made to label those working on short-term engagements as ‘independent contractors’.
“This practice can allow both the company and individual more flexibility in the way they carry out their work. However, this flexibility is often used as an excuse to deny individuals security and basic workers' rights.
“Leigh Day will continue its legal work to eradicate this practice, so that workers are afforded the rights to which they are entitled."