Another victory for workers’ rights: Addison Lee v Christopher Gascoigne

Another victory for workers’ rights. In Addison Lee, the EAT have held that Christopher Gascoigne, a cycle courier, wasn’t an independent contractor but a worker.

Mr Gascoigne won first time round in August 2017 at the Central London Employment Tribunal, where he was classified as a worker and entitled to arrears of holiday pay for approx. 2 weeks in 2016. Addison Lee appealed. At the appeal heard in April, Mr Gascoigne was supported by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain, (like some Deliveroo claimants) The EAT have just released their decision and held that when Gascoigne was signed into the Addison Lee app, where he was tracked by an Addison Lee controller and had to do the work allocated to him (similarly to Uber drivers), there was a contract with mutual obligations for him and Addison Lee. Therefore, despite Addison Lee’s argument that Chris Gascoigne signed a contract as an independent contractor, the true nature of the relationship meant he is to be considered a worker, and entitled to workers’ rights, including holiday pay and minimum wage. The EAT held the Tribunal “reached an unimpeachable conclusion that there was a contract during the log-on periods with the requisite mutual obligations”

This is the latest of cases where the Tribunals have found in favour of worker status rather than an independent contractor suggested by the companies involved. The decision of the Supreme Court on the topic in Pimlico v Smyth is awaited.

While great care has been taken in the preparation of the content of this article, it does not purport to be a comprehensive statement of the relevant law and full professional advice should be taken before any action is taken in reliance on any item covered.