23 November 2018 #Employment
Last year a Tribunal found that private hire drivers engaged by Addison Lee were workers and not independent contractors (see our blog on this previously). Addison Lee’s appeal against this judgment has now been dismissed.
This is not surprising given the raft of cases we have seen on the gig-economy lately and the way the Tribunals are clearly approaching such arrangements.
In this particular case, facts indicating worker status included that the drivers were required to adhere to dress codes, had to accept jobs (or could face sanctions) and had to inform Addison Lee of holiday arrangements in advance. Whilst the contracts referred to the drivers as independent contractors, as is well established law, tribunals will look at the reality of the situation and the label the parties apply to such arrangements is not determinative.
This is a further reminder to those who engage workers (not just within the gig-economy) to assess the reality of the working relationship and not to give too much weight to how the parties describe themselves.