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Another “Spoke in the Wheel” of the Gig Economy? Tribunal finds bike courier to be worker

13 January 2017 #Employment

Following in the tracks of the recent “Uber” case, in Dewhurst v Citysprint UK Ltd a cycle courier has been found to be a worker and not self- employed as the employer claimed.

The courier had a contract which stated that she was a self-employed “contractor”, that there was no mutual obligation for work and that she could appoint a substitute. However, the Tribunal held that, in practice, this was not the case.

In determining that she was a worker, the Tribunal commented that the courier was unwilling to turn down work in case she was not given more. A situation described by the Tribunal as “inequality of bargaining power at work”.

The case is a reminder than Tribunals will look past the pure contractual wording and examine what happens in practice. Although the worker in this case was only claiming two days’ holiday pay, the decision will add to the pressure on the “gig” economy with similar cases in the pipeline. Like Uber, an appeal is possible.

Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
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Louise Keenan

Louise Keenan

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Employment team
+44 (0)118 958 5321