Leigh Day is bringing claims on behalf of BCA trade plate drivers who believe they should be classed as workers, rather than independent contractors.
British Car Auctions currently use contracts that attempt to classify trade plate drivers as independent contractors. Because of this, drivers are not entitled to basic workers' rights, including holiday pay and the National Minimum Wage. If our claim is successful, BCA drivers will receive workers' rights and will be eligible for compensation in the form of back pay.
What is the claim about?
The BCA driver claim is about proving to the court that BCA drivers should be classed as workers, rather than independent contractors. Drivers work long hours travelling across the UK often using public transport to complete the required number of jobs a day assigned to them by BCA.
As a self-employed driver working for BCA Logistics there are no limits on the length of your workday, or, the minimum amount of money you will earn for that day. This has resulted in some drivers working a 10 hour plus day and earning just enough to cover their travel cost. Self-employed drivers earn a minimum of £20 per job, however, some drivers have alleged that if they earn too much in one day, they will not have their travel expenses reimbursed by BCA.
We believe drivers should be protected by the same employment laws that protect other workers in the UK. This means being paid the National Minimum Wage and holiday pay.
Our expert employment solicitors are bringing the claim to an Employment Tribunal on behalf of BCA trade plate drivers. If we are successful in the Employment Tribunal BCA will be ordered to treat the drivers involved in the legal claim as workers and grant them holiday pay and national minimum wage rights. The court will also order BCA to provide compensation in the form of back pay to its drivers. Please note that the Tribunal can only order that you are a worker and entitled to back pay if you are a part of the legal claim.
Midlands West Employment Tribunal judgment
In May 2023, Midlands West Employment Tribunal ruled that BCA drivers in these claims were workers and therefore entitled to national minimum wage and holiday pay. This decision can be found here. The Tribunal’s decision is currently subject to an appeal by BCA.
If that decision is upheld, we will argue that this decision should also apply to other BCA drivers who join the claim.
Impact of other cases on BCA claim
A number of employers have faced “worker” status cases in Tribunals and Courts over the last few years.
Most notably in 2021, the UK Supreme Court heard a final appeal by Uber against an Employment Tribunal’s original decision that their drivers were workers, rather than independent contractors. The Supreme Court found in favour of the drivers and dismissed Uber’s appeal against the Tribunal’s original decision.
The Uber judgment does not directly impact upon the BCA case. However, our view is that the Uber Supreme Court decision makes it far less likely that legal appeals by BCA in this case will be successful.
What are we claiming?
If you are a BCA trade plate driver, we believe that you are also a worker and should be entitled to claim back the following:
- Back pay for unpaid holiday pay for the whole period of your work with British Car Auctions;
- Back pay for any shortfall between your pay and the National Minimum Wage;
- If you still work for British Car Auctions, the right to paid holiday and National Minimum Wage in the future.
The value of your claim will depend on how long you have worked for BCA. If you have worked for BCA for 18 months, we estimate that the claims could be worth an average of £10,000.
Who can join?
Anyone who is a current trade plate driver for BCA or anyone who has recently left BCA but worked for them in the last 10 weeks.
No win no fee
We are acting under a “no win no fee” agreement, so you don’t have to pay anything unless you win your claim.
No impact on your tax status
This claim is about showing you are a worker for the purposes of your employment rights - we are not disputing your tax status in bringing this claim. You can both be a worker in relation to your employment rights and self-employed for tax purposes.
You’re protected by the law if you bring a claim
BCA should not penalise their drivers for bringing a legal claim.
As a worker, you have legal protection from BCA acting to your detriment for claiming these rights. If BCA try to remove or change the conditions of your work because of your worker status claim, you may be entitled to additional compensation.
BCA driver claim FAQs
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