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GMB launches legal challenge against Addison Lee

GMB, the union for private hire drivers, has launched a fresh legal challenge against Addison Lee seeking confirmation of members’ worker status.

The hearing begins today (July 4) at the Central London employment tribunal.

The test case brought by the GMB involves three Addison Lee drivers represented by law firm Leigh Day.

GMB asserts the drivers are workers and therefore entitled to the national minimum wage and holiday pay - benefits they are currently denied.

In October, GMB represented by Leigh Day won a similar case against Uber. The ruling of the Tribunal in the Uber case establishes that drivers are entitled to be paid at least the national minimum wage and holiday pay amongst other benefits, says GMB.

Uber is currently appealing the decision in the employment appeal tribunal, which is due to be heard in September.

Liana Wood, representing the drivers for Leigh Day, 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.”

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Comments

  • John Wilson - 04/07/2017 12:45

    The danger here for the drivers is that Addison Lee will not give them work as "employees" and they will effectively become "self employed " in ALL senses of the term .

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  • tax efficient - 04/07/2017 12:54

    How are these drivers classed as self-employed? It used to be the case that if anyone derived all, or even the vast majority, of their income from one source HMRC would class them as being employed. Being classed as self employed has tax advantages for the "employee" (hence the interest from HMRC) and a cost saving for employers, hence the temptation to class employees as "self-employed" when in fact they are employees on the cheap.

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  • Andrew Kirby - 04/07/2017 14:07

    This is the thin end of the wedge, there are so many "self employed" who will be able to jump on this, if successful!

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