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Victory for cycle courier in gig economy tribunal case

A cycle courier working for CitySprint’s Excel company has won the right to holiday pay in the latest landmark trial against the gig economy.

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Andrew Boxer’s contract required him to work five days a week under a non-negotiable fixed rate. Because of this he was deemed by the London Central Employment Tribunal to be a worker rather than an “independent contractor”. Therefore, he will now be entitled to certain benefits, including a week’s holiday pay or £321.16.

 

However, as Boxer does not have full employee status, he has no right to sick pay or paternity leave.

 

His lawyer, Casper Glyn, stated that his client “is obviously a worker providing a personal service and not running his own business”.

 

Although representatives of CitySprint said there is “still widespread confusion regarding this area of the law”, they will not contest the verdict.

 

The Tribunal judge, Joanna Wade, gave a similar decision at the beginning of the year when CitySprint was found to have wrongly classed courier Maggie Dewhurst as a self-employed freelancer – a decision the company will appeal.

Judge Wade will oversee two other similar tribunals in 2017 against eCourier and Addison Lee.

 

However, Dr Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) who brought the case on behalf of Boxer, has urged both companies to concede their cases before the hearings take place.

 

He said:

 

“This judgment is yet further evidence of what we have known to be true all along. Courier companies are unlawfully depriving their workers of rights.”

 

The so-called gig economy is the fastest growing employment sector in the UK, which totals 65,000 in London alone and has risen by 72% in the past seven years.

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