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DA Languages Workers

Interpreters and translators providing public sector services take legal action for fair pay

A translator agency that has contracts with several public sector services including NHS Trusts, police forces and local councils is denying thousands of its workers the rights they are entitled to, according to law firm Leigh Day.

Posted on 12 December 2023

Leigh Day is currently acting on behalf of interpreters and translators who believe they should be treated as workers and given the appropriate rights under employment law.

Interpreters and translators working for DA Languages are currently classified as self-employed independent contractors. Leigh Day argues that, because of the way the company operates, including fixing interpreters and translators’ rate of pay, imposing fines when they are unable to attend or complete jobs, and not allowing substitutes to attend jobs in place of the assigned interpreter or translator, they should be classed as workers and given holiday pay and the at least National Minimum Wage.

DA Languages has previously advertised that it has a database of 5,000 Mother Tongue interpreters and translators who could be eligible to join this group action.

The Manchester-based company works with more than 40 local authorities across the UK and several central government bodies including the Department of Work and Pensions.

If the claims against DA Languages are successful, Leigh Day estimates that a claimant who has worked full-time for two years could be entitled to more than £10,000 in compensation.

The company will only be legally required to compensate those who have brought a claim. Leigh Day is acting under a ‘no win no fee’ agreement, which means interpreters and translators do not pay anything unless their claim is successful.

A translator, who we have called Julia, has worked for DA Languages for eight years.

She said:

“Each year, around the holidays, instead of looking forward to spending time with family, I’m worried about whether I will be able to support myself during January. As the majority of people take time off, it leaves me with little to no work, so I end up working all hours of the night just to make ends meet. Not only disturbing my sleep but adding excess stress to my life. Getting workers’ rights would mean being able to see family and spend time with them without worrying about how I will pay bills.”

Leigh Day represents tens of thousands of people working for gig economy employers who are allegedly wrongly classifying their workers’ including Amazon drivers, Just Eat couriers and Bolt drivers.

Sam Velody, a solicitor in the employment team at Leigh Day, said:

“Translators and interpreters working for DA Languages are providing vital services, yet they are not being fairly compensated for the hard work they do.

“As an employment lawyer, time and time again I see companies taking advantage of the gig economy, believing that they can deny their workers the rights they are entitled to and get away with it. Leigh Day works to ensure that is not the case.

“We believe that DA Languages interpreters and translators should be classed as workers, rather than self-employed independent contractors, and will fight for them throughout this legal battle to help make this a reality.”

Find out more about the claim here.

Sam Velody October 2021

Sam Velody

Sam Velody is a senior associate solicitor in the employment department.

Group Claim
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DA Languages claim

Claim against: DA languages

Leigh Day is acting for DA Languages interpreters and translators who we believe may be entitled to thousands of pounds in compensation.

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